DES MOINES, Iowa — In less than a year, eggs have gone from being an expensive staple at the height of the bird flu crisis to reaching the cheapest prices in a decade due to fully restocked poultry barns.
But the demand for eggs has been stifled because bakeries and companies using powdered eggs in things like pancake mixes learned to cook without as many of them, and countries that stopped accepting eggs from the U.S. last year, including Canada and Mexico, have been slow to resume imports.
“People have found ways to reduce their egg usage as an ingredient. They’ve found replacers, they’ve found extenders and they’ve found ways to make certain products with fewer eggs in general,” said Brian Moscoguiri, an industry analyst at New Jersey-based commodity market research company Urner Barry.
While wholesale egg prices – a little as 55 cents a dozen in June – are good for grocery shoppers’ pocketbooks, the egg industry itself was caught off guard by the imbalance, according to Bill Northey, the agriculture secretary in Iowa, which is the nation’s largest egg-producing state.
The lack of exports hurts the most, said Marcus Rust, CEO of Rose Acre Farms, which is the nation’s No. 2 egg producer. Prior to the bird flu outbreak last spring, which led to the deaths of 48 million chickens and turkeys, U.S. egg producers exported as much as 6 percent of their stock. Now, it’s closer to 3 percent, Rust said.
“Across the pond they found other suppliers and have contracts,” he said. “For us to get them back, we’d have to boot somebody else out.”
For two months starting in mid-April 2015, the H5N2 virus ravaged chicken farms in Iowa and wiped out 12 percent of the country’s egg-laying hens. By May 2015, egg production had fallen 28 percent from the previous year and 21 percent in just a month.
Demand, however, remained strong and the scarcity drove prices to record highs: In early August 2015, Midwestern grocery stores paid $2.88 per dozen for large eggs.
The new chickens replacing those that were lost to bird flu are young and producing at their peak. Rust’s Iowa farms, where he restocked about 3 million chickens, are producing at about 10 percent more than normal. But the glut of eggs means grocers are trying to move eggs off shelves with prices not seen in years and farmers have sent some egg-laying hens to slaughter.
Three weeks ago, wholesale egg prices hit a 10-year low of 55 cents a dozen, and the number of shell eggs available as of Monday was the highest ever seen this time of year, Moscoguiri said. While prices have rebounded to “about 98 cents per dozen,” Moscoguiri said, it’s likely to dip back into the 50- to 60-cent range in the coming weeks.
Rust said the market it will work itself out.
The bakery industry was widely affected by the egg scarcity last year, including Blue Egg Bakery in Elk River, Minnesota. Owner Robin DeWitt said distributors rationed supply, meaning at times she could get only half of what she needed, forcing her to buy at grocery stores for full retail price.
She said she didn’t raise prices on her cakes, doughnuts, cookies and bread, so her profits dropped. And while larger commercial bakeries could get by with egg substitutes, she would not.
“We’re a scratch bakery and there just isn’t a substitute for eggs. We searched out and got them wherever we could,” she said. “We stockpiled eggs and we survived.”
In: General Topics, Health, Kosher Kitchen, Kosher News
FROM THE SUPERMARKET GURU
Mayo Safe for Summer?
Is a potato salad or chicken salad with mayo safe in summer heat? Find out what SupermarketGuru had to say here.
SupermarketGuru hears it all the time, is mayonnaise safe for summer picnics and bbqs? And the answer is a resounding yes, with a few exceptions.
Why is mayo safe for summer parties?
Traditionally, mayo is a blend of oil and egg yolks that is seasoned with vinegar, lemon juice, salt and occasionally mustard. Mayo gets its fragile reputation from the egg yolks which can spoil easily especially in homemade varieties that use unpasteurized eggs if left at room temperature. So, why doesn’t commercial mayo spoil? Commercial brands of mayonnaise use pasteurized eggs, or an egg yolk replacement that doesn’t spoil, that’s also why most varieties of mayo are not refrigerated when you buy them.
Moreover, according to the New York Times, a study from the Food Research Institute of the University of Wisconsin (http://fri.wisc.edu/), found that mayonnaise in salads might actually help reduce spoilage. The vinegar, lemon juice, salt and other ingredients make mayo acidic and “preservative like” and therefore likely to protect against spoilage.
Many dishes that contain mayonnaise tend to be handled a lot and here is where the problem can arise; you add onion or parsley to make a chicken salad and then spread it on bread – creating opportunities for the food to be contaminated. Make sure you properly store and handle all ingredients, use clean cutting surfaces, and clean hands before and after handling raw and cooked foods. Always use different cutting surfaces and utensils when handling raw and cooked foods. Also remember if you are using homemade mayo you need to be much more careful!
Treat mayo salads like you would any other food and make sure to refrigerate after two hours, keep in mind, if it’s a hot day you may want to keep it on ice or only leave it out for at most one hour.
In: General Topics, Health, Kosher Kitchen, Kosher News
******************CHECK EACH PRODUCT FOR HASHGACHA MARK*****************
Unilever, rolled out 17 new frozen treats in 2016 across five of its ice cream brands – Breyers, Good Humor, Klondike, Magnum Ice Cream and Popsicle. Each brand is dishing out an assortment of popular flavors and favorite desserts re-imagined as frozen treats, which are now available in grocery stores nationwide.
Unilever’s new 2016 ice cream products:
In celebration of its 150 year anniversary, Breyers introduced a full-frozen twist on ice cream cake. And for the first time, the company is introducing a line of conveniently, pre-portioned snack cups.
Breyers Ice Cream Cake – Chocolate Ice Cream with chocolate crunchies, sandwiched between vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate Peanut Butter features chocolate ice cream made with a real peanut butter swirl.
Coconut Fudge combines real coconut shreds and a fudge swirl.
Chocolate Snack Cups features chocolate ice cream made with fresh cream and rich Dutch cocoa, in a pre-portioned snack cup.
Vanilla Snack Cups includes vanilla ice cream, made with simple ingredients like cream, sugar, milk and Rainforest Alliance Certified vanilla beans, in a pre-portioned snack cup.
The Ice Cream Cake, Coconut Fudge and Chocolate Peanut Butter will be available in 48-ounce containers at grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99-$5.99. The snack cups are available in 10-count packs of 3-ounce cups at grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $5.49-$6.99.
Breyers Gelato Indulgences adds 4 new varieties
Chocolate Fudge Truffle features milk chocolate gelato with a rich fudge swirl and gourmet chocolate truffles.
Chocolate Hazelnut combines chocolate gelato with hazelnut flavor, a chocolate hazelnut sauce and gourmet chocolate curls.
Peanut Butter Chocolate features peanut butter gelato with a milk chocolate swirl and gourmet chocolate peanut butter cups. The gelato is available in 28.5-ounce clear tubs at grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $5.49.
Good Humor adds new frozen novelties
Good Humor added two new cookie-inspired offerings in frozen novelties.
Good Humor Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich, currently available in the Northeast, features frozen chocolate-flavored dessert, coated in chocolate chips and sandwiched between two chocolate cookies with milk chocolate chips.
Good Humor Oreo Cone, with its chocolate wafer cone, is filled with frozen cookies and cream dessert and topped with Oreo pieces. The frozen novelties are available in 4-packs at grocery stores nationwide in the Northeast for a suggested retail price of $3.79.
Klondike re-imagines a classic flavor
Klondike expanded its line of classic, stickless bars to include a new variety –S’Mores Stickless Bars.
Klondike S’Mores features creamy marshmallow ice cream with sweet graham cracker swirls inside a breakable milk chocolate flavored shell. The bars are available in 6-packs at grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99.
Magnum expands Doubles offerings
Magnum Ice Cream added to its Doubles ice cream line – which features two layers of chocolate around a layer of sauce – to include new twists on classic flavor pairings like chocolate-covered raspberries and chocolate and vanilla.
Double Raspberry features raspberry ice cream, raspberry sauce and a crackling coating made with Belgian chocolate.
Double Chocolate Vanilla offers vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate sauce and a coating made with Belgian chocolate. The ice cream is available in 3-count multipacks at grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $4.49.
Popsicle adds refreshing new flavors
Popsicle introduced three new varieties that inspire summertime fun at any age.
Popsicle Tropical Paradise comes in four tropical flavors — Mango, Strawberry-Banana, Island Punch and Pineapple.
Popsicle Sugar-Free Red Classics offers a better-for-you treat in all the favorite red flavors — Cherry, Raspberry and Strawberry.
Popsicle Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles complete with Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo, includes four flavors: Orange Fury, Cherry Crush, Blue Raspberry Blast and Smashing Grape.
The frozen treats are available in 18-count boxes for a suggested retail price of $3.99 at grocery stores nationwide.
In: General Topics, Kosher Desserts, Kosher Kitchen, Kosher New Products
Good Health, based in Greensboro, N.C., has introduced two savory snack varieties: Veggie Pretzels and Gluten Free Pretzels. The pretzels contain such good-for-you ingredients as Extra Goodness, a blend of vitamins and real vegetables that delivers powerful nutrition, with 2.5 cups of broccoli (vitamin A), one beet (vitamin C), five tomatoes (vitamin E), seven cups of spinach (vitamin B6) and two carrots (vitamin K) per serving. The pretzels contain whole grains and are free of hydrogenated oils, preservatives, trans fat and artificial colors. The Veggie Pretzels are thick pretzel sticks sprinkled with Himalayan salt, while the Gluten Free Pretzels pretzel twists contain whole grain brown rice flour, bamboo plant fiber and added vitamins. The SRP for either pretzel variety is $3.49 per 5-ounce bag.