The U.S. could see record-high average prices for eggs this year due to a serious avian flu outbreak that has affected more than 47 million birds in the country, the USDA forecasted this week.
Nationwide, wholesale egg prices increased 120 percent from May to June, according to National Association of Egg Farmers president Ken Klippen. The June data predicts that in 2015, the average price for a dozen wholesale eggs will be between $1.60 and $1.66. That estimate is 30 cents higher than in May, and around 20 cents higher than the annual average in 2014.
Klippen said in California shoppers are seeing even higher prices than elsewhere in the country due to recent legislation.
"When the California egg law went into effect January 1, mandating enclosure sizes for laying hens, the national large white egg prices were $0.82-1.04 per dozen. In California, egg prices were $2.75-3.30 per dozen," Klippen said. "With national prices approximating $3 per dozen, expect California egg prices to be closer to $5 per dozen."
Prices are already that high in some California stores. In Sacramento's Safeway stores, a dozen of Eggland's extra-large eggs costs $5.09. In comparison, the same brand of eggs costs just $2.49 in Safeway's Portland, Oregon locations.
After seeing prices dip a bit since the start of the year, shoppers in Sacramento's Folsom Boulevard Savemart location are upset that prices were once again on the rise.
"We eat eggs all the time. It's just ridiculous what's happened," shopper Ed Talbert said.
Recently, Talbert said he has been buying eggs from his son's co-worker, who keeps chickens in his backyard.
While many shoppers told News10 that the price hikes wouldn't affect their buying habits – even if it means less money in their wallets – others said spikes in egg prices do change their grocery lists.
"Instead of making eggs in the morning, we started making more smoothies, with fruits and vegetables and things," shopper Summer Shebley-Jonard said.