Eggs belong to the category of “superfoods” because they are the food with the highest nutritional values for health.
An egg has an oval shape and a white color. Its colors can depend on the quality and the species of birds (hen, duck, goose, turkey, and quail). The composition of an egg includes its shell and membrane which represent about 10%, the white – 60%, and the yolk – 30%. But let’s see how much a dozen eggs costs and what factors influence these prices.
How Much Does a Dozen Eggs Cost?
Expect to pay anywhere between $4 and $9 for a dozen of eggs. The cheapest eggs are priced at $3 to $6 per dozen and come from hens that are caged. These are considered non-organic and are mass-produced by corporations. The cost of a dozen eggs depends on factors such as the place you buy them from, the brands, the type of eggs, and the market conditions.
On the other hand, the non-GMO, organic, free-range, pasture-raised eggs are the most expensive, with an average cost of $5 to $9 per dozen, when they are not on sale.
The average price changes due to the 2022 bird flu
As of 01/ 11/ 2023, egg prices have skyrocketed in some US states. One example is the state of California, where data shows an increase in the average price of a dozen eggs from $2.35 just a year ago to over $7.37 last week. According to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) retail egg report, the wholesale price per dozen eggs across the country is somewhere around $3.30.
Also, some recent studies From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have shown that the average cost of a dozen eggs by US city has grown, reaching a record $3.58 just a couple of months ago.
The avian flu outbreak that led to the slaughter of about 100 million birds and the high production costs increased the price of a carton of 12 eggs to a record $4.82 in January, compared to less than $2 a year ago. In December 2021, stores across the country had consumer prices at $1.79/dozen.
This increase is mainly due to highly pathogenic avian influenza that has hit farm-raised poultry, plus the inflation pressure, says the USDA. Expert sources agree that these prices are set to stay in place until the infection can be stopped and new chickens are born healthy in the poultry industry. In this way, healthy laying hens will start a new egg production, covering the consumer demand and lowering the retail cost.
As this is a commodity, the cost of eggs may increase if the feed and/or demand for chickens increases. In the table below you will find the average prices for a dozen eggs at most retailers.
|Kroger||$5.75 (organic) / $1.50 (non-organic)|
|Local Farmer’s Market||$4.50|
|Walmart||$5.50 (organic) / $1.50 (non-organic)|
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s Egg Market News Report, the retail egg prices are anywhere between $4.30 and $6.50, depending on where you live.
When purchased at a wholesale level, that is more than a dozen, the cost of 86 grade AAA eggs would be around $8 to $9 for 24 organic brown eggs.
According to the Giving Assistant blog, the cost of one dozen organic eggs, like free range chicken eggs, is around $5.50.
Also, according to an AOL study, the cost of white eggs is almost $4.95 per dozen in Houston, Texas, while in New York City you will have to pay around $6.50 per dozen.
Eggs: short presentation
A whole egg is a rich source of protein (proteins contain the amino acids needed in the human diet). In addition, it is an excellent source of vitamins (it contains all vitamins except Vitamin C) and minerals (including phosphorus and zinc).
The egg white contains few calories, no fat, and a lot of protein. On the other hand, the yolk, in addition to the most nutritional values, contains cholesterol and saturated fats.
The most important egg brands you can find in the local grocery stores include Wilcox Farms, Eggland’s Best, Giving Nature, Organic Valley, World’s Best Eggs, and Nature’s Yoke. Also, many grocery store chains have their own brands like Meijer, Whole Foods, Walmart, and Trader Joe’s.
Eggs may be labeled as “free-range eggs”, “ground-house eggs”, or “battery-raised eggs”. Free-range eggs are from birds that must have uninterrupted access to outdoor spaces throughout the day; however, farmers may sometimes limit access to these areas in the morning according to good husbandry practices.
Important things to consider
The quality of an egg depends on the breeding system of the hens and on the feed given to them. The tastiest and most nutritious eggs are those from hens raised in an ecological system, where there are strict rules related to the space, but also to the feed they are given.
The difference between an eco-egg and a regular egg is the quality. According to a study conducted by a group of researchers from Italy in 2008, organic eggs have a lower cholesterol content and higher concentrations of vitamins A, D, E, K, B, and Omega 3 compared to other types of eggs. Another study conducted in 2009 shows that eggs from farms with intensive breeding systems contain stress hormones.
More than 90% of all eggs represent sources of contamination with bacteria, especially with Salmonella and other microorganisms such as Alcaligenes, Proteus, and Pseudomonas.
Washing and disinfecting eggs removes microorganisms and bacteria stored on the shell.
How do you tell whether an egg is fresh?
It’s a bit disturbing to know that some eggs end up sitting on a shelf for up to six weeks before someone buys them. So how can we tell if an egg is fresh? Is simple. If you put an egg in a bowl of water and it sinks to the bottom and sits on its side, it is as fresh as possible. If it sinks but stands, then it is still fresh enough to eat, but it is getting old. If it floats to the top of the water, it’s an old egg.
How can I save money?
You can find eggs on sale almost always at the local grocery store and supermarkets, as these are a common staple for most grocery shopping lists. You may want to stock up during sales or to look around for the best deal.
Always the store-branded eggs will be 20% to 30% cheaper than the name-branded eggs.
The best option in terms of value and nutrition, when buying eggs, will almost always be fresh eggs from a farm. So, try to find a local farm or farmer’s market close to you.
Like with most food purchases, you may be able to save money if you buy in bulk. Check out your local grocery store or wholesale club as you can usually find bulk packages that contain 18 or more eggs.
Look in the local Sunday newspaper or other places for a coupon for eggs.