AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Food inflation is way up and eggs in particular have skyrocketed in price in recent months.

The cost of eggs has increased by a whopping 70.1% compared to this time last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Supply chain issues & labor shortages have led to food increases overall, but the cost of eggs has been hit a bit harder due to the 2022 avian flu.

Over 50.54 million birds were killed by the virus and with such a significant loss of flock, eggs have become more scarce. Local shoppers remain patient with grocers.

Ed Motherway from Suffield told 22News, “Well I think the smaller grocers like Geissler’s have a more difficult time with items like eggs so they can only get the prices down so low.”

Ed Motherway says he’ll try larger chain stores like Costco, to hunt for deals on eggs, even if it means buying in bulk. “I happen to have a son in college so I just call him and give him half of them and I give them away, but I feel better paying a lower price even though I don’t use most of them myself.”

These egg price increases also hit some local businesses especially hard. 22News spoke with the owner of Main Street Grille in Agawam, who back in December had an egg debacle of her own.

Laura Theroux, the owner of Main Street Grille in Agawam said, “One day, our distributor couldn’t even send us eggs, and I had to run to the local store. When I got up to the register I was shell-shocked. I couldn’t believe I was walking out of there with six cases of eggs and it was costing me $775.”

Wholesale egg prices have since declined, now down by 50% since December. Still, worries remain that a second surge of avian flu could hit in the spring when birds will be migrating throughout the U.S. Consumers brace for the potential price fluctuations.