Increasing egg prices impacting local bakers

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Bird flu continues to impact poultry flocks not only here in Iowa but in a total of 22 states around the U.S. In Iowa, the outbreak began in Pottawattamie county and nine counties have had at least one outbreak. More than eight million birds have been killed since the outbreak began a month ago.

The latest outbreak is in a commercial turkey flock in Sac County...and in a flock of commercial breeding chickens in Humboldt County. Another case was discovered Tuesday in Hamilton County.

With all these birds being euthanized, it has impacted the price of eggs. Prices have gone up 52 percent since the outbreak started and a carton of eggs is now averaging $2.88. That’s according to Forbes.

”If I can’t find the ingredients, then yes I would have to stop taking orders,” said Dawn Murray, Out of the Blue Cheesecake Owner.

On average Murray uses anywhere from 150 to 300 eggs per week for her cheesecake business.

Now after the bird flu outbreak has killed off millions of birds in Iowa, eggs have become more expensive.

”Eggs are becoming harder and harder to come by. All of my cheesecakes basically take at the very least four eggs for each one,” said Murray.

Sandrine Wallace, who owns French Pastry by Sandrine, is absorbing the extra expense. She hasn’t raised prices and doesn’t want to crack and change her recipe.

”I didn’t want to lower the quality of my product. For example lessen the number of eggs I use in the recipes. So the quality is always the same,” said Wallace.

Along with the rise in price, both Murray and Williams have seen a shortage of eggs at the store as well.

”I went to Walmart and the shelf was almost empty. If there is no eggs, at some point I won’t be able to bake anymore. French pastry is all about eggs and butter milk and there is not replacement. You cannot bake without these basic ingredients,” said Wallace.

It’s something Murray said bakers have no choice but to wait out.

”I’ve seen over the last 40 years prices going up, prices coming down. So, my hope is I’m just going to try and ride it out. And see if maybe things are just going to come down,” said Murray.

Murray added when prices first started going up she did look at where she could cut costs elsewhere, like possibly using different boxes.

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