As coronavirus continues to make an impact on nearly all aspects of life, one grocery store location has pulled eggs off the shelves entirely. Egg prices have steadily risen since the pandemic has kept more and more people in their homes. Now, one Piggly Wiggly location in Parkersburg, West Virginia, has pulled eggs entirely as owner Jim Oppe told The Parkersburg News and Sentinal.
"Our system is set up on supply and demand and when the demand is more than the supply, that's what happens," Oppe explained. "I think you're going to see prices go up." He added that while they were continuing to carry Eggland's Best Eggs as the brand in question was asking for a 300 percent markup. Oppe also said that eggs weren't the only item where the price was being driven up by consumer demand.
"That two weeks of the buying frenzy kind of emptied the pipeline and that's what happened. The pipeline fills back up and everybody has calmed down." He also added that as restaurants have shifted exclusively to takeout and delivery during the quarantine, they have been able to buy additional products directly from them.
"Last year was the first year that food sales in restaurants outpaced food sales in grocery stores," Oppe said. "With restaurants affected by this, (it) puts an extra strain on the system. Hopefully, that product is finding its way into the retail end."
Oppe also added that his employees have been taking all the necessary precautions, including wearing gloves and masks, the latter of which was just recommended by the CDC.
"We've had some customers [who] have made face masks for our employees and brought them in," the owner said. "Our customers are great and we appreciate them very much. This community has been very good to us."
The week ending on March 14, egg prices spiked a staggering 44 percent when compared to last year. It's become such a concern that Walmart, along with other major retailers, have implemented limits in recent days on purchases of eggs. Brian Moscogiuri, director and egg analyst at the market analysis firm Urner Barry, told CNN that it all stems from panic buying.
"Consumers are panic shopping and, much like we see ahead of a snowstorm, they are purchasing staple items (milk, bread, toilet paper, and eggs)," Moscogiuri, said. "Except obviously this is on a national scale and for a much longer period of time."