Bird flu drives up egg prices, leaves Omaha grocery stores with limited supplies

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Egg shelves are emptying at local grocers in Metro Omaha.

This year, the United States faced one of the worst bird flu epidemics of all time. So far, about 37 million laying hens have died, representing 10% of production.

“My family loves eggs and we use them in just about every dish at home,” Thi Tran said.

She said she had to go to a few different grocery stores just to find eggs for her Friendsgiving gathering. The ones she found were expensive.

“Sam’s Clubs are really expensive — I know it’s like $7 or $8 for a pack,” Tran said.

After searching seven stores for eggs, 6 News found that some stores had a very small selection; others had no eggs at all.

Tran said she might end up making different dishes than she had planned.

“With baking and everything, and with the holidays coming up, it’s very difficult for us to make up for that shortage,” Tran said.

The egg shortage isn’t just affecting grocery stores. A restaurant 6 News spoke to said it had to double its prices.

“We had to push egg prices here and there because of the high price of eggs,” said Colin Duggin, owner of Kitchen table.

He said he normally buys his eggs from local vendors. But with inflation around the shortage and high prices, he said he had to rely more on staple eggs.

“The problem with that is there are never enough local eggs, so you have to try those staple eggs to keep up,” Duggin said.

Despite this, he said, his business is still doing well. But he hopes the price of eggs will come down soon.

“Egg prices are crazy right now,” Duggin said.

The United States Department of Agriculture expects the shortage to continue into next year.