Will they come down anytime soon? So asks reader Ellen. Sadly the answer is: no time soon. The North American avian flu epidemic isn’t in the news much these days, but it’s still raging. That’s the main factor underlying the price spike, but there are others. A lot of industry folks blame McDonald’s for buying up shell eggs for their “real egg” biscuit sandwiches, but there are a lot of other players out there competing for shell eggs (even if breakfast is an all-day affair at Mickey D’s these days).
The drive for so-called “real food” has spiked demand for shell eggs all over the restaurant and food service world. Where liquid eggs might have once been used to make scrambled eggs or omelets, everyone now wants to say that they crack their eggs behind the counter. There’s not much difference between the two, save for the fact that liquid eggs are cracked and blended ahead of time. They’re cheaper than shell eggs, they also reduce waste by giving egg suppliers a way to use and sell eggs that are slightly cracked, or the wrong size, shape or color for the shell egg market.
The most optimistic estimate I’ve seen for price declines is late 2017. Fall is generally the time when avian flu cases increase, so don’t be surprised if you hear more about this issue this month!