Egg prices are predicted to rise more than 35 percent in the first three months of 2018 as compared to the same period last year, reports the USDA’s Economic Research Service. The Service predicts that eggs are likely to reach prices of $1.12 for a dozen.
This price increase is due to a number of factors, including increased demand for eggs in the United States; the USDA expects consumers to eat more eggs than ever before this year.
“If you look at the items that consumers say they want more of in their diet, protein tops the list,” David Portalatin, a Houston-based food industry adviser for NPD Group, tells Fortune.
NPR reports that American egg consumption has reached approximately 274 eggs per capita per year.
“This is the highest of the past 38 years,” Iowa State University professor Hongwei Xin, who directs the school’s Egg Industry Center, tells NPR; he notes that this number will likely increase.
Other factors contributing to increased demand of United States-produced eggs include a recent outbreak of bird flu affecting egg production in South Korea, the Philippines, South Africa, and the Netherlands. The Netherlands’ egg production was also affected by the inappropriate use of an insecticide not approved for use in food animals in an attempt to delouse chickens; this led to millions of eggs being removed from supermarket shelves in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium in August.
Unlike egg prices, the USDA’s Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook shows that prices for beef, pork, chicken, and turkey will fall as compared to the same period last year, with an expected 7.3 percent price drop for beef.
Despite the growing popularity of plant-based diets, which topped most food trend reports for 2018, recent reports show that Americans will likely eat more animal proteins in 2018 than ever before, with a projected 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry expected per person this year according to the USDA.
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