Sainsbury’s is now importing its eggs from Italy due to a supply crisis sparked by the avian flu outbreak.
The supermarket giant admitted it and other rivals are “experiencing some supply challenges with eggs”, after a report on Friday outlined the staple food had soared in price.
One Twitter user shared an image of eggs from the supermarket this afternoon showing it stocking Italian barn eggs.
When asked whether this is a UK-wide problem, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Currently supermarkets are experiencing some supply challenges with eggs.
“At Sainsbury’s we are committed to sourcing British as much as possible and continue to work hard with our suppliers across the UK to ensure customers can buy what they need.”
“To help maintain availability we are also temporarily sourcing some eggs from Italy, which will be clearly labelled on the packaging.”
Last week it was reported that some supermarkets were rationing eggs.
Steven Dresser, the CEO of Grocery Insight, shared images on Twitter of discount supermarket Lidl limiting egg sales to customers, and a notice to Lidl shoppers, saying: “customer disclaimer: Let’s keep enough for everyone. Eggs are limited to 3 units per customer to ensure that everyone has the essentials they need.”
In another image, he took a picture of a Sainsbury’s store shelf which was bare, saying there were egg shortages.
This comes after the Office for National Statistics published figures showing inflation for eggs had increased by 22.3 per cent, in figures shared by the Food and Drink Federation.
Eggs are experiencing a rise in price due to inflation and a major shortage, owing in part to recent orders to house all poultry in doors due to a huge surge in avian flue.
The British Egg Industry Council told City A.M.: “The pressure on supply has been caused by a number of contributing factors.”
“These include hens lost as a result of avian flu; cost of production rises, which mean that producers are struggling to break even; a reduction in the number of colony hens as retailers move towards cage free; and strong demand from consumers.”
“Supply and demand does fluctuate with eggs, but we expect availability to return to normal levels when cost pressures ease. In the meantime, the industry will continue to work closely with retailers to get eggs from the farm onto shelves as quickly as possible to ensure we are able to meet consumer demand for British Lion eggs, which we know is what consumers expect.”