AUSTIN (KXAN) — Inflation, supply chain issues and the now the Avian Flu are creating egg shortages and driving up prices at the grocery store. Prices in the state of Texas have more than doubled from this time last year as national egg production is also down as much as 5%.
Meteorologist Sean Kelly spoke with Jack Geyer, who is a farmer at Boggy Creek. His farm, located in east Austin, not only grows and sells produce, but it also maintains a fairly large chicken coop which provides the farm with eggs to sell to customers.
Geyer said he’s avoided any run-ins with the Avian Flu due to the much smaller size of his chicken operation. In return, the prices for the eggs he sells have been able to remain the same.
“We’ve been getting a lot of calls about our prices of eggs if we have them in stock,” Geyer said about the noticeably increased interest from customers.
He added that people have been consistently inquiring about purchasing chickens in hope of starting their own chicken coop. Geyer said he encourages his customers to do so but reminds them his farm does not sell chickens.
Steve Dale with Doonsebury Farms is experiencing a similar climate, claiming he’s gained a large number of customers because of the price hikes of eggs at grocery stores. “A lot of them coming from Google searches. We’re still selling our eggs at $5/dozen” Dale said.
He mentioned that this increased demand at times can lead to some difficulty in keeping up with egg orders.
Local restaurants that rely on eggs are of course being impacted by the egg shortage to some degree as well. Brian Batch is Co-Owner of Bird Bird Biscuit, a restaurant with one of two locations located in east Austin. They significantly rely on eggs, as many of their biscuit sandwiches (the highlight of their menu) have it as the focal ingredient.
“I think that one of the things that pandemic shows you is that you always have to be willing to get creative,” Batch said in response to if he would consider steering away from eggs on his sandwiches if prices got too high.
For the most part, the biscuit sandwich restaurant has been able to push through without any major hiccups. Batch said maintaining relationships with multiple sources is key. “We have a couple different suppliers that we get eggs from and so we’re able to kind of feel out where we can get the best price”.
In addition, his current supplier of eggs has been taking on much of the burden of the inflated cost, helping to carry the wait so to speak, preventing Bird Bird Biscuit from taking on the full financial cost alone.
Batch said their operation has grown enough to be able to keep business as usual. That is as long as this is temporary. He expects a decline in egg prices within the next few weeks.
He says however if the egg shortage unexpectedly sustains for too long, then they would be forced to consider raising their food prices. But for now they have no plans to do that.