On Friday, the average price of a dozen store-brand large eggs in Ellsworth was $2 — a 40 percent increase from October prices.

Egg prices skyrocketing

ELLSWORTH — Americans’ ongoing love affair with high-protein diets is causing egg prices to skyrocket.

Ellsworth native Shelly Davis Camp said she is following a “keto,” or ketogenic diet, which is low-carbohydrate, and eats a lot of eggs.

“I cook a dozen every few days,” Camp said.

The cost of a dozen store-brand large white eggs last October was $1.42.

On Friday, the average price was $2 — a 40 percent increase.

That’s one finding of The American’s latest Market Basket report. Every quarter, the newspaper records the price of grocery staples at the Ellsworth Hannaford, Shaw’s Supermarket and Walmart and averages the prices together.

The Economic Research Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said recent egg prices have reached the highest levels since 2015, when an outbreak of the Avian flu caused an egg shortage.

However, one official attributes the recent increase partly to holiday promotions ending.

Brian Moscogiuri is an analyst for the egg market for the United States and European Union for Urner Barry in New Jersey.

“What you have happening now isn’t that wholesale prices are rallying, it’s that retailers aren’t promoting aggressive prices,” he said.

“You had a number of retailers competing to get consumers in their stores,” Moscogiuri said. “One way they were doing that is with driving down egg prices. They were being promoted very cheaply and aggressively in some parts of the country.”

Moscogiuri said he expects the rise to slow down over the next few weeks.

In other Market Basket news, the cost of a pound of 85 percent ground beef is essentially flat. It was $4.91 a pound on average last October and was $4.93 on Friday.

Peanut butter has decreased nearly 5 percent to $2.55 for a 16.3-ounce jar of Skippy.

A gallon of 2 percent store-brand milk is up 2 percent to an average of $3.67.

A 16-ounce loaf of store-brand white bread has dipped 31 percent to an average of $1.15. That loaf was $1.68 last October.

Cheerios remained unchanged at $3.15 for a 12-ounce box.

Butter went up slightly from $3.27 to $3.34 for 16 ounces of house brand.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.