Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs

Can anyone explain to me why a half-dozen ordinary white eggs are $3.39 and a dozen cage-free brown eggs are only ten cents more at $3.49? Somehow a ten-cent difference to get twice as many eggs, arguably produced under better conditions, seems curious.

To start with: The color of the eggs is absolutely 100% immaterial to their nutritional content. Shell color is determined entirely by the breed of chicken. Now, maybe SOME breeds of chicken are more expensive to keep than others, but the egg COLOR is definitely not where any extra cost goes, and given the same diet and laying conditions, an egg is an egg is an egg.

What you’re ostensibly paying for here is the ‘cage free’ label, which almost certainly DOESN’T mean that the chickens had a big ol’ fashioned chicken coop and a flock of 30 or so hens overseen by a rooster happily grazing amongst the other farm animals.

More likely, it means groups of a couple of THOUSAND birds kept indoors year round in a giant pen. Better than battery cages? Probably. But still not great.

And why are they only $0.10 more than the caged eggs? Prices per farm vary, supply vs demand, fluctuating market price, etc. And only a ten cent difference tells me that 1) egg producers ARE squeezing every last fractional cent out of their system and 2) ‘cage free’ is less than one cent per egg’s difference than cages, so how much better could ‘cage free’ REALLY be?


Brown eggs are from brown feathered chickens, white eggs from white feathered chickens. The price difference is supply and demand.

I’ve noticed something similar in markets near me (Westchester Cty NY)
Eggland’s Best (white and brown) and Land o Lakes (brown, cage free) eggs run between 3.69 to 3.99 for a dozen large.
Shoprite store brand Bowl and Basket (the standard egg) are 4.99 for a dozen large.
There are also signs up in the dairy case saying that there are fluctuations in price due to supply issues.
I’ve been buying the “better” eggs since the price is lower.


Are these prices representative?

Also in Westchester and egg prices have been all over the map lately. I usually buy eggs at a Foodtown, where the store brand is usually around $3/dozen, name brands (like LOL, Egglands best, etc) maybe $4-5 and organic brands about $5-6 more. Lately, however, the store brand has been over $6/dozen, while name brands are still $4-5. Organic prices have gone up a little, but nowhere near the 100% increase of the store brand. Weird.

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Costco in Phoenix AZ. $2.50/dozen if one buys the big package.
Hoi Polloi

We have 2 coops and 10 girls in the back yard. I am sure I dont save that much money keeping them, but it’s sure a nice feeling cracking open a white/brown/blue/green egg in the morning, and knowing exactly where it came from.


I’m going to have a huge thread drift here . Pardon .
I just learned that the silkie chicken has a almost black meat and bones .
I can get one cleaned . Around 18 dollars. Comes with head and feet .
Sounds right up my ally .
I’ll be researching recipes.


“Supply chain” has become an almost ubiquitous explanation/excuse for shortages, high prices, and delays. It’s often - maybe usually - true, but either way, we’re becoming inured to it. Shrug you shoulders, look for alternative products.


BJ’s Wholesale Club - 18 large Pete & Gerry’s egg $5.99 and there is often a dollar or 2 dollar coupon available. This is north of Boston area.
Costco is comparable.
We (I) eat a lot of eggs, so its worth the larger quantity.

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I would think the best part of your own chickens is eggs that actually TASTE of something on their own. And yolks that are a deeper yellow orange, which doesn’t make a lot of nutritional difference, but does look nice.

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Plus you know exactly how fresh they are! I’m lucky to have a friend with hens who sells her dozens for $3. Mostly green-shelled, some light brown - all delish :yum:


Brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh! :notes: :musical_note:

That little jingle has burrowed into my brain. This was a in the New England area and if you watched tv in the 70s and 80s for sure you know this jingle. No idea; eggs in general have been hit by the inflation train where I am, but I haven’t looked at price differences between the color.


The reason is probably bird flu.

A total of 47.7 million birds have been culled across the EU and a further 47 million in the US.
All chicks are kept inside to protect them from the contagion and the better free range / organic eggs have indeed become ordinary despite what might be written on the box.

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Sadly you are right. This is one of the reasons I’m thankful that I learned to cook.
Beef too pricey? Make pork.
Pasta too pricey? Make rice.
It’s a little harder to sub something for eggs in some dishes, but there are always alternatives to be found.

I can’t explain the difference in price but putting “cage free” on the label pisses me off. It’s a gimmick to make consumers think the chickens are treated as well as if they are raised on pasture.

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Egg prices in general are up due to supply restrictions in turn due to Avian Flu, which has led to a serious reduction in the number of birds laying due to the need to cull flocks to try to address the flu. So that part is just supply and demand.

As to the variation in prices, that seems to be all over the map these days, probably mostly because prices at retail do not instantly reflect wholesale price changes as does tend to happen in other lines of commerce such as petroleum products. Several months ago I even, on one occasion, was able to buy cage free eggs at Aldi for less than conventional eggs. Presumably the turmoil will settle down eventually and the price relationship among different eggs will get back to “normal,” whatever that is.

All that said, a price of double for white eggs than brown, everything else held equal, is really off the charts unusual. Very odd and atypical. It couldn’t possibly last long.

Make broth. Maybe chicken and dumplings or chicken and noodles.

Not really.

Conventional eggs are produced by caged layers – they actually spend all their time in a small individual cage. Cage free means the birds are housed in a large henhouse but can freely roam within the building, including short flights (chickens can get briefly airborne) and running around, which is way more humane than cages. Free range by law means they have at least some minimal time outdoors including access to fresh air, perhaps not all that different from cage free but something at least.

The idea that any commercial production of eggs could involve full time outdoors in Farmer Jones’ field is, frankly, risible. There are 300+ million people in the US and as many in Europe eating millions upon millions of eggs. Those eggs, like all food we buy at the store and take home to our comfortable homes in the city and the suburbs, must be produced at scale, and having chickens running around outside and producing those millions of eggs is just plain nonsense, a fairy tale. Folks need to get a grip on what is required to produce the food they eat in the quantity that they eat.