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Egg prices are hopping again this Easter. Is dyeing eggs worth the cost?

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Most Americans wait until the Holy Week to shop for Easter, but no matter how long you wait this year, eggs aren’t likely to go on sale for much less than they are now.

A dozen eggs are around $3 per dozen, on average, according to Federal Reserve data. That’s down from January 2023’s record $4.82, but still more than double the $1.45 that was the average cost before the pandemic in February 2020.

Even if prices aren’t as eye-popping as they were last year, they might still be expensive enough to dissuade some people from dyeing a lot of eggs. If you fall into this camp, USA TODAY has a list of eggless activities and décor to explore this Easter.

Others may continue to roll with tradition, though People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is suggesting that the White House tweaks its annual Easter Egg Roll on Sunday and use potatoes instead of eggs.

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“Potatoes are cheaper and healthier than eggs and leave birds in peace,” the nonprofit said in a recent news release.

How are people reacting this Easter to high egg prices?

Of the more than 500 consumers polled by research firm Numerator, 65% said they’ll buy eggs to decorate and 21% said they plan to buy more than last year. However, 35% said they don’t plan to buy eggs to decorate and 11% will buy fewer this year. Of those who are buying fewer eggs or none at all, 25% cited high prices as the deterrent.

Whether people will see current egg prices as a relief or a hindrance to Easter celebrations depends on what what you’re comparing them to.

Numerator’s survey showed 67% of respondents said price was the main consideration when buying eggs for dyeing or decorating, and whether you see the cost as reasonable or too high “depends upon when and where one establishes the benchmark,” said Joe Brusuelas, Chief Economist at consulting firm RSM US. “If it is four years ago, then the evaluation will tend to be not so good. ”

Or it can be relative to how other items at the grocery store are priced. “Eggs are still cheaper than meat,” said Christa Howard Roeh, a mom of three, in Chicago, Illinois.

Even at $5 per dozen, you can eat two large eggs for dinner for about $0.85, and they provide protein, omega-3, vitamins and other valuable nutrients, said Brian Moscogiuri, a global trade strategist at Eggs Unlimited, an egg supplier.

That’s a bargain compared to the avocado his wife bought for $0.75, which she thought was inexpensive, he noted. Or even chocolate eggs, which are seeing a price spike this year due to sharply higher cocoa prices. One classic Cadbury creme egg costs more than $1.

“People just aren’t breaking it down to show where the value (of an egg) is,” Moscogiuri said.

Why are eggs so expensive?

Egg prices soared to about $4.82 per dozen in January 2023 after an outbreak of avian flu.

Prices started to fall after avian flu subsided. Eggs dropped to about $3.27 a dozen by last Easter and got as low as $2.04 in August.

However, another outbreak last November sent prices higher again. Prices have risen over the past six months, with the average cost of a dozen eggs hitting $3 in February.

How did people react at Easter to last year’s surge in egg prices?

In April 2023, a dozen eggs were $3.27 – a record high Easter price – and egg sales  weakened during the two weeks before the holiday as compared to the prior year, according to Datasembly, which tracks prices and sales in real-time.

During those two weeks in 2023, egg sales only rose 20.5% above the 52-week average, the data showed. In 2022, egg sales spiked 35%.

What’s the story behind Easter? A bunny, eggs and Jesus: How Easter became a holiday full of symbolism

Medora Lee is a money, markets, and personal finance reporter at USA TODAY. You can reach her at mjlee@usatoday.com and subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Will high egg prices make Americans break up with Easter traditions?



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