Egging for the bigger basket
The saying goes that you've got to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, but this year coloring a dozen eggs may crack your budget.
The price of eggs is at a historical high, thanks in particular to international demand, according to TheStreet.com. A dozen eggs today will set you back about two bucks — that's an average — representing an increase of about 8 percent from a year ago, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's latest Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey.
"In 2013, U.S. egg exports were up by 39 percent compared to the prior year," the Farm Bureau explained in an April 3 news release. Much of the increase was due to goosed-up demand in Mexico, which in 2012 saw its domestic egg supply reduced by an avian influenza outbreak.
Eggs are not the only food item that will cost more this Easter. The price of ham also is on the rise, thanks to another virus that's killing off piglets in more than two dozen states. The Department of Agriculture reports hog and pig inventory is down 3 percent in March compared with 2013.
Consumers aren't likely to plan their meals around animal virus outbreaks, but the rising cost of Easter eats may be why they are expected to spend less on other Easter treats. According to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, fewer people plan to celebrate Easter this year — 80.3 percent compared with 80 percent last year. Translated to dollars, that nets out to a spending forecast of $15.9 billion, from $17.2 billion in 2013.
Either way, that's still a lot of pink bonnets and Peeps. Supermarkets have a term for increasing individual consumer sales, called a bigger basket. This Easter, the bigger baskets will be filled with bunnies and eggs, but hopefully not all in one.
Lisa Biank Fasig Lisa leads the creation of editorials and feature stories for COLLOQUY and oversees the work of contributing editors and writers. With 18 years of reporting experience, most in business and specifically consumer behavior, she is highly skilled at researching data and teasing out the trends. A background in graphic design enables her to see ideas in three dimensions and tell the story visually. www