Lactaid Blames Avian Flu For Lack Of Eggs In This Year’s Holiday Nog

Image courtesy of Katie

Reader Margaret has a holiday dilemma. She was ready to start guzzling her favorite Lactaid-brand lactose-free egg nog, and was delighted to find a carton. Then she opened it. She was horrified to discover that her beloved nog had changed. This year’s version is an egg-free “holiday nog,” which some fans like but Margaret can’t get into. “It tastes like sadness and chemicals,” she wrote to Consumerist. She did not clarify what sadness tastes like.

Margaret wrote to us so we could warn others before their lactose-free holiday gatherings. “I’m going to dump it down the sink lest I go on a faux nog binge while softly moaning ‘whyyyyyyyy,'” she wrote to us in despair. We accepted the challenge, even though Margaret didn’t actually give us a challenge, and contacted Lactaid to find out whyyyyyyyyy they took the eggs out of their nog.

They blame the change on avian flu, which humans can’t catch from chickens, turkeys, and other birds, but which created nationwide egg shortages and price hikes. The shortages and increases canceled each other out, since rising prices meant that people simply bought fewer eggs.

Here’s the full statement that we received from Lactaid’s representatives. Specifically, Johnson & Johnson, which owns the Lactaid brand.

With regard to the LACTAID® Holiday Nog, the recipe has changed for the 2015 holiday season. LACTAID® is committed to providing Consumers with their favorite festive seasonal beverage, however, Avian flu is affecting the supply of eggs nationally. Therefore, this year, the LACTAID® Brand is offering an egg-free version of eggnog, called “Holiday Nog.” LACTAID® Holiday Nog is a rich, lactose-free holiday treat made from real milk and cream.

That probably isn’t how Margaret would describe it, but at least we’ve solved the mystery of the egg-free nog. That decision was probably made in the summer or fall, during the worst of the avian flu outbreak and egg shortage. Note that they haven’t ruled out adding the eggs back in when egg prices go back down.

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