I receive a phone call from my sister every few weeks asking me for the price of eggs at my local Walmart…it is her local Walmart, also but I’m about 11 miles closer to it than she is…I am in the store at least once per week (I absolutely loathe the fact that the closest grocery store to me is Walmart) and I know that the price of eggs there is absolutely cheap!!! We were recently both wondering why Walmart is selling Extra Large Eggs at $.90/dozen when the cheapest she had found at other supermarkets (she is a supermarket ‘stalker’) was about $2.50 to $3.00/dozen.
In doing research I learned that Walmart is very conscientious about how the eggs that they sell are ‘harvested’ and about the quality of the hens on the farms…Walmart has pledged to insure that all eggs that come out of any Walmart store will be cage free by 2025…a monumental promise. However, for the time being, they buy their eggs from a few very large ‘conglomerate’ farms…with visible oversight…but they use their eggs (and other dairy products) as loss leaders in their stores. If you notice that going into any Walmart…the dairy products are all in the back of any store…one has to walk through all the other food aisles to get to the eggs.
I’ve been known to buy 6-8 dozen at a time…jumbo, extra-large and large…depending on the use. I buy for myself and my family…when I take the eggs to them, I consider them a ‘house gift’…I also am a member of a CSA and pay for the weekly egg distribution, which comes to about $3.50/week. I find no difference in the eggs…in quality or taste. I’m sure that my CSA ‘hosts’ are given a far greater area to roam but I also know that Walmart is putting some effort into seeing that the ends will justify the means…
It is not just the price of eggs at Walmart that is hurting the smaller, family farmer…some of the family farms do quite well with their ‘organic’ or ‘cage free’ eggs at anywhere from $3.50 to $5.00/dozen….the organic followers will sometimes pay the price…I can’t and I won’t but that is a personal preference….I do so in the CSA (I’m not obligated; the weekly eggs are extra) because I feel it is a way to support my local family farmer…however, family farms can not survive on eggs alone …and that is where the problems lie (lay)!