MILWAUKEE — If you're buying eggs for Easter or Passover, prepare to pay more. Inflation combined with the Avian flu outbreak is driving up prices, and in some cases, causing shortages.
Fidleis Okhoofu of Milwaukee says he paid a dollar and some change for a dozen eggs a few weeks ago. Last week, he paid $2.59.
He bought five dozen eggs.
"Just because I don't know if the price will go up tomorrow," Okhoofu said.
Since late February, the I-Team has been tracking prices of popular grocery items, including eggs, at Milwaukee area grocery stores Pick N' Save, Piggy Wiggly, and Walmart.
Click hereto see the price patterns of grocery store staples in the Milwaukee area.
Four out of the six stores we visited saw a significant jump in the cost of a dozen eggs. The highest prices were at two Piggy Wiggly locations, where for two weeks in a row a Grade A large dozen of eggs cost $2.99. On March 18, they cost $1.89.
"When demand is high, and supply is flat or decreasing, prices go up," said Brandon Scholz, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association.
Scholz says while Avian flu is a short-term problem pushing up prices, suppliers are also grappling with a longer-term issue of worker shortages.
"When that happens, you're not able to produce and supply as much as you wanted, which also drives price increase," he explained.
Scholz says keeping the shelves stocked with eggs has become a daily puzzle for grocers.
"And of those suppliers, do they have inventory that they can move? Or are they partitioning some to you, some to this, some to this, some to this?" Scholz said.
Scholz says if need be, grocers can start putting limitations on purchases.
Shoppers like Okhoofu say his extra purchases won't go to waste.
"I will need them!"