Coles has imposed purchase limits on eggs amid dwindling stock nationwide. Shoppers will be limited to two cartons per transaction across all Coles supermarkets. There’s also a limit of two boxes of tissues per shop.
It’s not clear yet whether Woolworths plans to introduce its own restrictions. However, both major supermarkets have reported limited availability of egg products and said they’re continuing to monitor supplies across all stores. Eggs are just the latest product caught up in supply chain issues, after meat products and more recently, a lettuce shortage which saw prices for iceberg lettuce skyrocket to $12 a head in some supermarkets.
The nationwide egg shortage is also likely to push up the price of breakfast at cafés and restaurants, with some eateries already reducing the number of eggs served in popular dishes like eggs Benny, or using alternative egg mixes.
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What’s causing the egg shortage?
Australia’s egg shortage is due to a perfect storm of reduced demand for eggs during the pandemic which forced egg producers to reduce the size of their flocks of laying hens and increasing demand post-COVID-19 which is now seeing suppliers struggle to keep up with consumers’ renewed appetite. Chickens also lay fewer eggs in winter which is another contributing factor to the egg shortage.
“The market-wide supply of locally produced eggs has recently been impacted by reduced production on a number of farms,” said a Woolworths spokesperson.
“While we continue to deliver eggs to our stores regularly, customers may notice reduced availability at the moment and we thank them for their patience and understanding.
“We’re in close contact with our suppliers and are working to increase the availability of eggs in stores as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Coles is also working with suppliers to improve the availability of eggs and said it will keep customers updated on any changes or lifting of purchase limits.