Egg prices skyrocketing in California

Photo Courtesy Jefferson Public Radio

When California voters passed an initiative in 2008 to require the state’s poultry farmers to house hens in significantly larger cages, the California legislature realized it would put the state’s farmers at a disadvantage.  In 2010, it required that eggs imported from other states come from farms meeting the same cage requirements.

That went into effect on January 1.  Since then, egg prices in California have been significantly on the rise.  Brian Klippenstein, executive director of Protect the Harvest says that law, has left consumers in California with “egg on their face”.  “The wholesale price of eggs is almost 300 percent higher than it was a year ago,” he says.  “Which isn’t a big deal if you’re a member of the Hollywood digestive elite.”

But, for middle-class and lower income families – what once was an affordable, high-quality protein, is now out of the reach of many budgets.  “This law comes into effect and simply says we’re going to double and in some cases triple the cost of your food,” he says.  “It’s a bad deal.”

According to USDA, the average price for a dozen jumbo eggs in California is $3.16, up from $1.18/dozen a year ago.

Even though states like Indiana are considered agricultural, Klippenstein tells Brownfield, it doesn’t mean it is immune to animal rights’ activist organizations.  “Nobody worries about them until it’s too late to worry about them,” he says.  “We didn’t worry about them in the state of Missouri until they came in with $5 million and were able to market what we consider non-sense to the voters.”

Protect the Harvest hosted a Meet and Greet to talk with Indiana legislators about issues like this at the Statehouse last week.


  • The goal of the Animal Rights nutcases is a vegan society – by law! They want to determine what you eat. Eating no animal protein and getting your protein from soy, which contains estrogen, will help make you ALL much easier to control. Take away your masculine/aggressive “urges”! Smart voters – fell for this one HOOK, LINE, and SINKER!!!!

  • It always seems HSUS sweeps in with all the idelogical philosophy and no forethought as to what will happen when they walk away. This movement is not based on protecting the public but to end all animal use by humans. Food, animals in entertainment, lifesaving research (95 percent are rats), purebred pets – gone and what hazards against humans will that cause, what hazards in animals will that cause. This is not a humane movement but appears to be a movement against humanity.

  • I am absolutely SHOCKED that the California legislature did anything with half a thought behind it. Yeah, they went along with the initiative, but they at least didn’t kill off the local egg farmers to the benefit of someone somewhere else. $3.16 is a hell of a lot of money for a dozen eggs, but the local farmers would have been completely out of business within a week. Maybe the illegal aliens can bring a couple dozen with them, or the cartels will go into a more lucrative business!

  • At the Farmers markets the prices have been going down, usually around $2-$2.50 for a dozen eggs. And that’s for free range eggs from chickens fed with organic, GMO free feed. Fresh and Easy has similar eggs for the same price or less.

    CSAs are another way to get reasonably priced eggs.

    Shopping at a good coop if you have one in your area will also work.

    Costco is another place where it’s possible to buy eggs at an affordable price, but you have to buy in bulk there.

    Even Amazon sells for around this price most of the time.

    The bottom line is you really just have to know where to look.

    Yes, it’s more than 99 cents, but the eggs are now much healthier and the chickens are being kept in humane conditions.

    These prices prove it is possible, it’s just many companies are choosing to artifically raise the prices to try to prevent the rest of the country from passing similar laws.

  • Time for California lefties to launch the old reliable “evil capitalist” campaign against chicken ranchers. OTOH this opens up entrepreneurial opportunity for black market eggs. 😉

  • Eggs at Safeway yesterday in my area.. 6.50 a dozen..and the shelves were full .. not good for anyone.. did not see anyone checking out with eggs.. HSUS and their vegan zealots love this ..Prop 2 is the jewel in their crown.. let’s kick them off the throne

  • WHOAH!!!!!!

    Don’t go blaming the California Legislators for passing this law.

    THIS LAW WAS PASSED BY CALIFORNIA VOTERS back in 2008 known as Prop 2 and handled by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS – an animal rights organization based in Washington D.C. but registered as a non-profit although it does way more lobbying than is permissible by its tax status). HSUS led everyone in California to believe they were “freeing” the poor chickens from abuse. The voters fell for it and now you are paying for it.

    HSUS fights any egg producer the minute they try to establish measurable boundaries because the legislation is so vague it really means anything. Plus the addendum to it was passed that all incoming fresh eggs from out-of-state must come from farms that follow the law as passed in California. Not many farmers are jumping on the wagon to conform to the law because it costs millions to transform the chicken houses to something that is not even specific (which of course the cost is passed on to the consumer).
    PLUS – anyone who does produce eggs that conform to the law and are outside of California are able to sell all the eggs they produce locally and are not shipping to California.

    Keep it up California…

  • I raised chickens as a kid, they had free range on a 1/4-acre of land, we fed them a corn medley. Those eggs were awesome. As an adult, I made the hideous mistake of watching a PETA video about caged hens, and started buying free range eggs (in CA, they range about $4 per dozen.) I will have to look into farmers’ market eggs. Perforce, due to the price I have cut back on how much I utilize eggs. 🙁 Which is a drag, cos I love ’em.

  • Went to get eggs today and they were $4.99 a dis and my four dozen package was now $18.99a dozen crazy. Bought some last Saturday at the farmers market and they were $4a dozen, painful. But I don’t mind buying from local farmers.

  • Why not pay $0.13 per egg yolk for a product that tastes just like egg yolk but without the cruelty. The Vegg… And if you want eggs for baking, how’s $0.27 per egg for baking? Zero fat and zero cholesterol! Better for the environment as well.

  • So it’s been over a year since Prop 2 was enacted. Curious as to the price of a dozen eggs now. Maybe if more people complained about H$U$, they will be investigated for the fraud organization they are.

  • I paid $1.89 a dozen for Hy Vee store eggs the other day in St Jo, MO. I usually get Nebraska farm fresh eggs (free range and fed GMO feed) at $1.00 a dozen but they are molting now and stopped laying. Just curious as to what CA eggs cost now. Store bought or Farmers Market.

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