I thought I’d give them a try to see if they were an acceptable substitute for fresh eggs; and supposedly they were either cheaper than fresh eggs or at least comparable in price. But I went online recently to price them and ay caramba!! Chain food stores don’t have any, and online specialty order sites want something close to the equivalent of $1 an egg. What happened?
Shortage of eggs in general around here because of new restrictions on conditions at egg farms. That has raised the price in general. Powdered eggs would be last on the list of edible egg products made, so far fewer eggs will be available for powder as they get used up first for other products.
Can’t find the article but I saw mention of egg prices decreasing as production increases later in the year.
I had thought that liquid and other non-whole eggs were made from “breaker” eggs (small, brown or otherwise less desirable) that ordinarily wouldn’t be sold as whole eggs. So one would think whole eggs would be the scarce and pricey ones.
I’m pretty sure it’s two things - first, the aforementioned egg supply/demand issues are killer. After all, I haven’t seen a dozen fresh eggs AA Large store brand for less than $3.29 US for over a month. That’s a lot, and more if you want specialty options.
While I’ve head the same things about liquid egg / powdered egg, I’ve also heard that it isn’t so - that the machines that break the shells are in some ways just as sensitive to size, so that ‘tuning’ it to deal with abnormalities is more trouble than it’s worth, especially when prior to the shortage ‘normal’ eggs weren’t particularly expensive. But again, same sort of anecdotal information, so no confirmation.
But let’s say the roughly 2-3 fold increase in cost holds true for the fresh eggs. Then they’re processing costs, container costs, and the consequences of a smaller economy of scale in demand probably accounts for most of the rest.
One additional possible issue is the demand from a specific market: survivalists/partriots/TEOTWAWKI types. The couple years have driven prices up of supplies desired by these folks to rather silly levels - while not quite as bad as it was previously, things like preserved foods, ammunition and firearms are still quite elevated.
So combine all the factors together and I find the situation understandable if frustrating.
I remember decades ago wondering if buying powdered milk would be cheaper than buying milk and having some of it go bad (I was single and didn’t drink much milk) and being disappointed by how expensive powdered milk was.
I’m seeing wildly varying prices on Amazon. Anywhere from ~.60 cents an egg (equivalent) all the way up to ~$1.60 an egg. Even the low end is much more expensive than equivalent fresh. As an average consumer, the only scenario where you’re saving money is if you regularly let eggs go to waste because you must buy them but never finish them.
But powdered products aren’t really meant to be budget versions of the ‘real’ thing. They’re meant to be easily stored, transported, and distributed.
You’d think they’d be cheaper on the general principle of longer shelf life for an otherwise perishable product. The processing really adds that much expense? Now I wonder how the refrigerated liquid eggs compares to both.
Total WAGs on my part, but I’m thinking:
- Extra processing.
- Smaller businesses have higher marginal costs. I’ve never heard of any of the companies on Amazon.
- The packaging looks more expensive than the cheap Styrofoam most eggs come in.
- I assume there’s extra regulation and oversight for products claiming to be shelf stable?
- Upcharges for perceived convenience or security or health (I’m seeing a lot of “No GMO!” branding on a lot of the packaging).
For the images we not doubt have in our heads of generic Gub’mint Powdered Product being doled out in emergencies, confidence in shelf stability is hugely important. If it’s supposed to last for ten years in some warehouse until needed, it better last ten years. Confidence costs money too.
The OP may as well ask about the price of the raw material - eggs in shell:
That I can understand and accept. It’s the extra scarcity and cost of powdered egg that’s disappointing, especially given all the sites that claimed powdered egg to be an economical alternative to fresh.
One, lots of sites stating it to be economical alterative doesn’t mean it’s valid, but it STILL could be for that matter. I know plenty of people who buy a dozen eggs, use 3, and end up tossing the others due to age before buying a new carton.
At that point, you’re paying (at current prices) $3.29 for 3 eggs (figure $1.10 each). Well above the low end that @Johnny_Bravo quoted above.
But even a blog from 2012 seemed to indicate it wasn’t much of a savings, unless you were buying in major bulk with the issue of a normal person’s Household use being too small to use fully once the seal was broken.
Was showing between $0.20 and $0.60 per egg.
In 2012, retail egg prices would have been $2.27 a dozen, giving us roughly $0.19 per egg. Which was at or less than the lowest cost for the blog from the same era.
So as far as I can tell, powdered has always been expensive BUT if you were going through a huge amount of eggs, just the ease of storage may be a big value, in that you don’t have to arrange for multiple fresh shipments or refrigerated storage. And as an individual, if you again only need a few eggs on occasion (my friends example from earlier), it’s both less expensive AND less wasteful.