Egg-istential crisis: Shops ration staple as inflation, supply woes drive up price
Supermarkets are rationing sales of eggs as problems with supply chains are leaving soaring prices and empty shelves.
The staple food is experiencing a rise in price due to inflation and a shortage, owing in part to recent orders to house all poultry in doors due to a huge surge in avian flue.
Steven Dresser, the CEO of Grocery Insight, shared images of Twitter of discount supermarket Lidl limiting egg sales to customers.
The image includes a notice to Lidl shoppers, saying: “customer disclaimer: Let’s keep enough for everyone. Eggs are limited to 3 units per customer to ensure that everyone has the essentials they need.”
In another image, he took a picture of a Sainsbury’s store shelf which was bare, saying there were egg shortages.
This comes after the Office for National Statistics published figures this morning showing the UK economy had contracted again, and that key staples had gone up in price.
Inflation for eggs had increased by 22.3 per cent, in figures shared by the Food and Drink Federation.
Yesterday, retail publication the Grocer reported eggs had increased in price by 50 per cent, with some retailers considering egg “rationing”.
Speaking on behalf of the industry, according to one major supermarket which declined to comment, Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, tried to reassure consumers.
He said of the egg shortage: “While avian flu has disrupted the supply of some egg ranges, retailers are experts at managing supply chains and are working hard to minimise impact on customers.”
Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Tesco declined to comment on egg shortages.
The British Egg Industry Council told City A.M.: “The pressure on supply has been caused by a number of contributing factors. These include hens lost as a result of avian flu; cost of production rises, which mean that producers are struggling to break even; a reduction in the number of colony hens as retailers move towards cage free; and strong demand from consumers.”
“Supply and demand does fluctuate with eggs, but we expect availability to return to normal levels when cost pressures ease. In the meantime, the industry will continue to work closely with retailers to get eggs from the farm onto shelves as quickly as possible to ensure we are able to meet consumer demand for British Lion eggs, which we know is what consumers expect.”