As “stay-at-home” orders swept through California in March, demand for eggs skyrocketed as consumers stocked up.
Egg prices also skyrocketed, from about $1.50 per dozen to more than $3.50 per dozen in early April, while store shelves frequently were bare.
On March 2, the wholesale benchmark for a dozen California shell eggs was $1.55. By March 27, the benchmark had risen to $3.66.
Egg prices have steadily dropped through April. Last week, egg prices were closer to $1.50 per dozen. Many grocery stores have eggs in stock, but it is also common for consumers to be limited to 2 cartons.
“Because the price of eggs have risen more than 180% during the COVID-19 emergency, it is clear that some or all of the defendants have raised their prices to an extent that violates the law,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also claims that egg prices have stayed 10% higher than they were before March 4, when Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California.
The defendants include Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Raley’s, Stater Bro, Save Mart, Albertson’s, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Winco, Post Holdings, Cal-Maine Foods, Opal Foods LLC and Rose Acre Farms.
The potential class would include all consumers who bought eggs in California from any of the defendants since March 4.
The lawsuit was filed by a group of consumers on April 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California — Case No. 20-cv-2733.