While inflation has led to a spike in the cost of nearly everything sold in supermarkets across the United States, the price of eggs has seen a particularly significant increase in recent months.
Food prices MoM, YoY:
🥩Meats -0.4%, +1.1%
🥚Eggs +2.3, +49.1%
🥛Milk +0.8% +14.7%
🍎Fruits & vegetables +1.4%, +9.7%
☕️Coffee +0.5%, +14.6%
🧈Butter +0.2%, +27%
(per the BLS, via @YahooFinance)
— Morning Brew ☕️ (@MorningBrew) December 13, 2022
The average cost of a dozen eggs is nearly twice as high as it was just two years ago, according to a recent Forbes article, which blamed the increase on factors such as avian flu and supply chain interruptions.-
Now, Colorado is set to ban cages in the egg-production process with a regulation that will go into effect at the beginning of next year. Along with California, it will join Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Michigan, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in allowing only cage-free eggs to be sold in the state.
Of course, the restriction leads to increased costs for farmers who must provide much more space for their chickens — and those expenses are inevitably passed down to the consumer. The Colorado law will require each chicken to have at least one square foot of personal space in an area that allows workers to be able to stand upright.
Small farms will not be held to the new standards, at least at first, and lawmakers will give farmers and retailers a two-year grace period before they start issuing fines.
Such regulations are sure to exacerbate the already increasing cost of eggs, which has also been impacted by the rising price of other foods due to inflation.
As University of Massachusetts Amherst economist, Isabella Weber explained: “In the case of eggs, you have rapidly increasing market prices of corn or whatever it is that they eat, and that drives up the cost of feeding the chicken, which drives up the price of eggs, which drives up prices for American consumers.”
Nevertheless, proponents of the ban on cages say the effort to fight animal cruelty is worth the minor economic sacrifice.
Humane Society CEO Kitty Block applauded the decision, writing: “This is yet another striking victory in our campaign to eradicate cruel cage confinement for farm animals.”