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'Monumental increase': Record-high egg prices in Houston impacting consumers, businesses

The price of eggs in Houston is above the national average. The problem is fueled by inflation and a disease wiping out chickens.

HOUSTON — If you've been to the grocery store lately, you've noticed the price of eggs is sky-high. In fact, at some stores, a dozen of eggs is over $5.

Everyone's having to fork out more for eggs, from consumers to businesses. 

The problem -- surging demand and a disease wiping out chickens.

"We're going to see these high egg prices for a while," said Dr. David Anderson with Texas A&M University. "It's a supply problem driven by the disease."

The disease is called avian influenza, which is also known as the bird flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

"Once that disease started, we went from 327 million egg-laying chickens to about 299 million by June," said Anderson. 

Many are feeling the impacts of the surge in prices for eggs, especially Houston bakeries. In fact, the price for eggs in Houston is above the national average.

"Almost everything we have has eggs," said Three Brothers Bakery co-owner Bobby Jucker. "There's no substitute for eggs."

His business goes through 750 pounds of eggs every week. Thirty-pound cases of eggs use to cost the bakery just over $36 last January. This year, the business pays almost $112 per case. That's a more than 200 percent increase. 

"This is monumental as far as increases go," said Jucker. 

So far, Three Brothers Bakery has avoided raising its prices despite the business spending nearly $1,900 more per week on eggs alone. Jucker said the longer this goes, the harder it will be and he may have to consider slimming down the menu. 

Though, impacting all, Jucker said the surge in egg prices is impacting small businesses the most. 

"I think we're going to see a lot of people go out of business this year because of the price increases," said Jucker.

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