The egg industry has ratcheted up prices in response to short supplies and heavy demand from panic-buying consumers during the coronavirus outbreak.
CNN reported Wednesday that wholesale egg prices have increased 180 percent since the beginning of March, as noted by the Department of Agriculture in its weekly report. Sales are up 44 percent over this time last year, according to Nielsen data.
"Shell eggs are clearing retail outlets at a brisk pace and grocers are seeing little necessity in conducting feature campaigns as the product is virtually selling itself," the Department of Agriculture said.
"Wholesale prices for shell eggs rose precipitously through the week on sharp daily advances as marketers struggle to maintain sufficient stocks to meet a heightened level of consumer demand. Offerings are very limited and insufficient to meet the current level of need," the report continued.
Some retailers are blaming the industry for higher prices amid the higher demand, which they say is being pushed onto low-income Americans struggling to provide for themselves during the crisis. Many Americans in the food service industry and other lines of work are facing job losses and economic uncertainty due to restrictions put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.
"It is unconscionable that the egg industry has doubled prices because of increased demand. It is hitting low-income New Yorkers the hardest, as so many have lost their jobs working in restaurants and hotels," an official for Morton Williams, a New York-based supermarket chain, told CNN.