San Antonio bakery scrambles to fight egg-flation

The high price of eggs means local bakeries are trying to find ways not to raise prices for customers.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Bakeries saw some egg-trodinary egg-flation. Nadler’s Bakery and Deli said it paid almost triple for its eggs, an essential ingredient for cakes, cookies, and other confections. It is a tough egg to crack for the bakery to find ways not to raise prices.

The cases at Nadler’s Bakery and Deli are filled with every type of pastry possible. Most are made with eggs.

“We go through 15 dozen in about four days,” said Alexia Nadler-Mendez, the president of the bakery.

Nadler-Mendez has been in the baking business for about 40 years. She pays almost $100 for a case of eggs. She was spending about $30 prior.

“I would think by now we would have been going on the downslide, but we’re not seeing it,” she said. “From ’84 to now, this is the worst I’ve ever seen eggs, ever.”

So far, with the holiday season along with Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day coming, the demand for baked goods has been high enough she has not been forced to increase prices.

“The good thing is when you do something for the holidays and you have a higher volume, then everything pans out evenly, you know?” Nadler-Mendez said. “When you do things in numbers, you can still keep your prices low.”

Also, she is getting creative with egg substitutes to prices consistent for customers.

“We’re trying to find other binding agents that you can use instead of eggs,” Nadler-Mendez said. “You could put applesauce in cookies, you know, instead of egg. Maybe sour cream or yogurt in cakes and still get something but before we make any changes we have to make sure that it’s going to work and that we’re not compromising quality.”

Figuring out new recipes is no piece of cake. So far, she has not started selling baked goods with alternative ingredients. She continues to experiment while hoping egg prices drop. She said she already had to raise prices because of the pandemic. Now, she is considering raising prices another five to 10 percent.

“I feel like, oh my goodness, we just raised prices and then we’re going to have to raise them again,” Nadler-Mendez said. “So I haven’t done it yet, but it’s coming. It’s unfortunate.”

If egg costs decrease, the bakery could avoid the price increase.

“These things are cyclical, you know,” said Bobby Flay, a celebrity chef. “We’ve seen avocados, bacon, and beef have their moment, you know, prior and they have now gotten back in line. It’s like anything else. At the moment that’s what is happening with eggs.”

Nadler-Mendez hopes costs come down just in time so the bakery does not need to alter either prices or recipes.

The American Egg Board said high prices are caused by a triple whammy of avian flu killing birds, inflation related to feed and shipping plus supply chain issues like labor shortages. Yet it also said flocks are recovering and egg supplies are increasing. So prices are likely to drop but no word on exactly when.

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