DENVER — The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports egg prices were up 267% at the end of 2022 compared to what they cost at the beginning of the year.
A dozen Grade-A eggs cost $3.59 on average in the US. That same carton was $1.72 at the beginning of last year.
In Colorado, prices are higher than the nation's average. Denver7 found the cheapest store brand carton of extra large white eggs currently costs nearly $5 at Safeway. At King Soopers, the store brand costs nearly $6, and customers are limited to three cartons. Walmart's store brand costs $6.62.
Empty egg shelves are becoming a common sight at Colorado grocery stores. There are plenty of factors behind the price hike, from the avian flu to inflation and overall demand.
At Syrup, a breakfast restaurant with locations across the Denver metro, general manager Brittany Granger said the price increase has been staggering.
“We used to get a case for about $27, and now we're getting them for about $150," she said. “We get 15 dozen eggs in our cases, that's just generally how much we do, and we get anywhere between, what, eight to 10 cases a week.”
Those prices have the restaurant considering raising their prices in the next couple of months to try and balance the money currently being spent on eggs, which are essential for the breakfast spot.
“It might be $1 on everything, which is kind of steep for a lot of people. And I understand that, but our pricing has gone up significantly," Granger said. “Hopefully, it'll be okay, because [customers] see that all egg shelves are completely cleared out, even in supermarkets. So, maybe it'll strike home that we're having the same issues, too.”
The customers Denver7 spoke with at the restaurant understood how expensive eggs are currently.
“The last time we were at the store, when we saw how high those prices were, I said, "We're not getting eggs right now,"" said Dawn Astem Borski, who was at Syrup eating breakfast. “As long as I can eat to survive and live, I'm going to figure out a way to do that. It's just hard, you know, it's hard for everyone.”
Granger is also shocked by the prices of breakfast now compared to other meals which have historically been more expensive, like dinner.
“Now, it's competitive with all the other meals of the day. Unfortunately, it's kind of how it has to be," Granger said. “We want it to be the cheap and easy, in-and-out option, but it just doesn't always happen that way.”
Syrup does offer vegan eggs, which are a bit cheaper for the restaurant to purchase, but are not nearly as popular.