Egg prices at a Walmart in Kentucky fell to only $2 for an 18-pack, and this has prompted advocacy group Farm Action to launch an investigation to determine whether retailers or egg producers are price gouging.
Going grocery shopping these days is enough to make anyone involuntarily cringe as they look at ever-increasing prices on eggs and other staple commodities. Of course, that’s if you luck out and actually find what you need in stock. But now, recent news has many wondering if egg prices are artificially inflated.
On Wednesday, a shopper posted a photo of the egg situation at her local Walmart. On its surface, there is nothing unusual about that. Countless pictures of empty shelving and sky-high egg prices have circulated on social media lately.
What made this particular picture so special was that the egg prices were (and are) drastically lower than anywhere else in the country. And that made people sit up and take notice. It turns out that the Walmart in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, is selling 18-pack eggs for only $2.
No, that wasn’t a typo. Now compare that with the national average. According to Newsweek, “The price of eggs has spiked in recent months and reached a record high in December, when the average cost for a dozen large Grade A eggs in U.S. cities hit $4.25, up $1.79 from a year earlier, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.”
Many have wondered why the sudden spike in egg prices occurred. But the answers to the question will vary depending on who you ask. Some say it is due to inflation, and that does make sense.
However, others claim it is a result of the massive chicken culling after an avian flu outbreak. “The USDA recorded 57.83 million bird deaths from the start of 2022 to January 11 of this year, which surpassed the previous record of 50.5 million bird deaths in 2015.” But no matter what the underlying cause is, the sky-high egg prices has put a significant dent in the food budget of most Americans.
Theoretically, that pain should ease slightly, thanks to a dip in the wholesale price of eggs. As of February 6, the wholesale cost was $2.61 a dozen, which is positive news. And if that is accurate, that means the Walmart location in question is selling its eggs under the wholesale price (and losing money in the process).
Based on Walmart’s official statement about the low cost of eggs at that location, it sounds like the company may have received a good deal on a particular shipment. “We’re committed to providing the best prices so our customers can save money and live better. What happened involving the shipment of eggs to the Harrodsburg store demonstrates our ability to take advantage of these unique opportunities and quickly pass on those savings.”
But the sheer fact that Walmart has lowered egg prices when no one else has, has raised some serious questions. At the heart of that is concern over possible price gouging by corporate egg producers. That possibility caused one research and advocacy group, Farm Action, to take action.
Last month, the organization sent an official letter to the Federal Trade Commission to express its concerns. At this point, there is no news on a possible inquiry or investigation. But consumers can still hope for a positive outcome!