Analysts Say McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Could Drive Up Egg Prices, Exacerbate Shortage

Before McDonald’s big announcement on Tuesday that it would roll out all-day breakfast across the country starting next month, we wondered if the fast food giant would scrap its plans because of egg shortages caused by the recent avian flu outbreak and the high egg prices that have resulted from it. While we now know that the Golden Arches wasn’t put off by the possibility of dishing out more cash for eggs, its new venture could further aggravate the egg-supply issues plaguing other businesses.

Industry analysts say that the chain’s foray into all-day breakfast could mean higher prices for other businesses and consumers alike, Bloomberg reports.

“It’s going to make it harder for everyone,” analyst Darren Tristano tells Bloomberg. “It’s going to lift prices across a lot of those products that use eggs. The cost will likely be passed through to the consumer.”

An increased strain on the egg industry isn’t exactly surprising with McDonald’s latest menu change: the company has long been known to shake up the food-supply chain when it adds or removes items from its lineup.

According to Bloomberg, when the company announced it was going to bring back chicken tenders earlier this year, it boosted the poultry industry.

Before that, when the company began offering apples as a side item, it became the nation’s largest buyer and seller of the fruit.

The addition of more eggs to the company’s menu will likely have similar effects, but unlike the poultry industry which had an oversupply of product, the egg industry continues to struggle to come out of the recent avian flu outbreak.

The shortage of eggs has already shot up prices in recent months, and caused some chains to cut back on their use of the products.

In June, Texas-based Whataburger trimmed its breakfast hours to cut down on the number of eggs it went through. Dunkin’ Donuts has already scrapped an eggy promotion it had on the calendar for later in the year.

Some supermarkets are saying the high retail prices for eggs (wholesale prices have more than doubled since the beginning of the year and are expected to keep going up) are keeping retail demand down, but if McDonald’s suddenly needs to significantly increase its egg-buying to make sure it can meet McMuffin demand, it could drive the price even higher.

McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Might Make America’s Egg Shortage Worse [Bloomberg]

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