The high cost of eggs has led Dollar Tree to remove the food from store shelves.
Dollar Tree has stopped selling eggs, the retail and grocery chain confirmed to multiple media outlets this week – pointing to continued high egg prices.
In recent months, the price of eggs has skyrocketed to record highs. Costs to consumers are starting to come down, with a 6.7% fall in February, but egg prices are still up 55% over the past year. As of February, according to CNN, producers saw an annual increase in egg costs of 38%.
Shoppers saw an average price of $4.21 per carton for Grade A eggs in February, down from $4.82 in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Grade A eggs, on the other hand, cost about $2 per box in February 2022.
Dollar Tree — which advertises a primary price of $1.25 for most of its products, as well as some $3 and $5 items — told CNN it can’t afford to sell eggs at these prices.
“The cost of eggs is very high right now,” Dollar Tree spokesman Randy Guiler told the outlet. Guiler added that Dollar Tree will bring back eggs when “costs are more in line with historical levels.”
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A dollar tree a spokesperson told Reuters, which first reported the news, that the chain doesn’t expect to return eggs to Dollar Tree stores until the fall.
Unlike Dollar Tree, Family Dollar stores, which are also owned by Dollar Tree, Inc., still have eggs and will continue to sell them, Reuters and CNN reported.
Dollar Tree did not immediately return a request for comment from USA TODAY.
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Why have egg prices increased in recent months?
The rising egg prices in recent months are mainly the result of increasing demand, high production costs and the outbreak of bird flu.
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Earlier this year, lawmakers and the farmer-led advocacy organization Farm Action also called for an investigation into potential producer price gouging — pointing to record profits from Cal-Maine Foods, the largest U.S. egg producer.
Wholesale inflation fell in February
Wholesale price increases, which affect how much retailers pay when buying products from manufacturers, have slowed significantly over the past month.
From January to February, the government producer price index fell by 0.1% – as opposed to an increase of 0.3% from December to January. Compared to a year ago, wholesale prices rose by 4.6%, a sharp decrease from the annual increase of 5.7% in January.
A major driver of February’s wholesale inflation slowdown was a massive fall in egg wholesale prices, which fell 36.1% in February.
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Meanwhile, consumer prices rose 6% year-on-year, up from 6.4% in January and a 40-year high of 9.1% in June, according to the Labor Department’s consumer price index. Grocery prices in general are still rising, but at a slower pace, rising 0.3% from January and 10.2% over the past year.
Contributing: Paul Davidson, USA TODAY; The associated press.