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Cracks in the European Egg Market Deepen as the Bird Flu, Inflation Rage On
Confronted with what some have labeled a “winter of discontent” amid soaring inflation, consumers throughout the European Union appear to be leaning more heavily on eggs as a low-cost source of protein. But while eggs by nature are more affordable than competing proteins, part of their recent affordability is somewhat artificial in nature—not reflective of current market conditions but rather the result of retailers’ unwillingness to pay farmers a sustainable price for their eggs—or to pass those prices on to consumers.
The situation is much the same in the UK. According to Farming UK, the British Free Range Egg Producers Association advised retailers last November and again this February that its members could not continue to produce eggs at a loss and requested a 40p/dozen increase. They warned that there would be a scarcity of eggs going into the Christmas period if the situation was not addressed, but their pleas were largely disregarded. And now, the very shortages they warned of have come to pass. Faced with limited supplies, and in some cases, empty shelves, some of the UK’s largest retailers—Tesco, Lidl and Asda among them—are restricting customers to 2-3 boxes of eggs per shopper, a move that is expected to last beyond Christmas.
U.S. General Merchandise Unit Sales Fell 7% in April, as Retail Revenue Declined 1%, Reports NPD
As demand softens, the retail product mix needs to attract both value seekers and premium buyers
The consumer’s willingness to spend has been crucial to maintaining a healthy level of retail performance throughout the pandemic, but demand has been softening for several months. April 2022 U.S. general merchandise unit sales were 7% lower than a year ago, creating a 1% decline in sales revenue, according to The NPD Group.
“Higher retail prices have buffered demand declines but their escalation, combined with rising gas prices..."
More Consumers Hunting for Bargains this Easter
Consumers plan to spend an average $169.79 this year on Easter-related items, according to results of the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. A total of 80 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend a collective $20.8 billion, down slightly from last year's forecast of $21.6 billion.
“Consumers are eager to return to their pre-pandemic holiday traditions, particularly as it relates to purchasing food and gifts for in-person celebrations this Easter,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay...
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