EGG SHORTAGE UPDATE—Unfortunately, we’ve kicked off the year 2023 with some major food shortages and supply chain issues. As the country has continued to battle against supply chain instability from the start of COVID-19, many are still experiencing strain thanks to a complex, multi-step and non-localized supply chain.
The egg shortage has shown egg producers and food industry manufacturers that there is still plenty of room for improvement and the overall demand for domesticized and localized supply chain fulfillment strategies.
Below, we’re discussing the 2023 egg shortage, what you can expect in this latest egg shortage update, and lessons egg producers and food manufacturers can take from this supply chain snafu.
Egg Shortage Update (2023)
At the time of this publication, egg prices across the country are nearing (or have hit) double digits. There are many contributing factors that we have to understand in order to use this situation to our educational advantage. These include:
1. Effects of supply and demand
Many dietary experts and statisticians saw a potential shortage on the rise due to the major shifts in the American diet, which were highlighted publicly beginning in 2019. Americans at this time were eating the highest number of eggs that government officials had seen over the last half of a century, offering a surprising twist to the then-stable supply chain. Prices would ebb and flow with supply and demand, though not nearly as drastically as they have today.
This change was largely thought to be a result of government food guidance shifts, the rise of protein-rich or “keto” diets, and general awareness of eggs as an alternative protein source.
Now, Americans are still hitting that statistical mark, with few changing their habits despite the steadily rising prices. As a result, we can still expect to see significant price increases as suppliers work to level out supply and demand as effectively as possible.
2. Bird flu cases
In 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there were record numbers of bird flu cases sweeping flocks across the United States. As a result, egg producers were often instructed to limit or eradicate populations to keep the rest of the flock safe and healthy.
Approximately 49 million chickens died in 2022 as a result of bird flu or preventative measures due to bird flu exposure, leaving many egg producers in a stage of scarcity as demand continues to rise.
3. Cage-free laws
Several of the top-producing states in the United States have recently enacted cage-free laws, putting restrictions on farmers that do not allow or limit the use of on-premises cages. Unfortunately, cage-free arrangements can require more space per flock, and land prices in these states (such as California, Oregon, and Rhode Island) can be quite high.
4. Supply chain difficulties
Shortages of materials and transport (such as packaging feed and fuel) have imposed difficulties on many national egg producers to deliver on the current demand level, causing price spikes between 2020-2022 prior to the rise of avian bird flu cases.
When Will The 2023 Egg Shortage Resolve?
There is no definitive measure or projected “end” to the 2023 egg shortage. Contributing factors to the egg shortage, such as avian flu cases and supply chain issues, have not yet been resolved as of the time of this publication. As warmer weather starts to hit different regions of the country, we do hope to see reductions in avian flu cases and the removal of weather-based roadblocks for some of the more rural or weather-affected regions.
What Can Egg Producers Learn From The 2023 Egg Shortage?
While the situation is less than ideal, there are some lessons that producers and food and beverage manufacturers can learn from the 2023 egg shortage.
The importance of a localized supply chain
Fostering local and multi-faceted supply chain avenues can secure a higher quality experience for your national customer base. This gives you more options to re-route to in the event of closure or failure or, as we’ve seen with the Pacific Coast, extreme weather events that have pervaded most of the country as we’ve started the year.
Other benefits include a heightened potential for cost savings and the ability to pour back into local economies for greater economic growth and security by region.
The importance of quality control
Transparency technology, especially when housed in a centralized ERP, can give your team members the flexibility and adaptability needed to respond quickly to supply chain disruptions and quality control problems, whether or not they have manifested fully. It also serves to highlight the importance of transparency as an organizational concept, showing a need for company-to-consumer transparency regarding pricing and updates.
Inecta Offers Tools To Limit Shortage Effects
Using a comprehensive ERP effectively can help you to limit shortage effects and preemptively risk manage your organization ahead of a service disruption. The experts at Inecta have intentionally designed and refined the top tools across the industry to help you to meet this need, giving you a full en-suite of tools through the Inecta ERP solution for egg producers. For more information and to learn how you can implement Inecta’s tools in your organization, please connect with us today. We’re here to serve you!