Egg shortage daunts consumers

Posted on Jan 25 2019

No eggs are available in the frozen section of many supermarkets and stores on Saipan for a week now. (Bea Cabrera)

Consumers have been egg hunting the past couple of days trying to stock up on eggs, but after searching from one supermarket to another, no eggs on shelves of the frozen section of Saipan stores have become a familiar sight.

If you miss your sunny side up or scrambled eggs this morning for breakfast, the answer is there is currently a shortage of eggs on island for a week now.

According to a customer service officer from a San Vicente supermarket, it has been a week since the delivery of eggs stopped. “We officially ran out of eggs to sell just this week because our stock and inventory have been exhausted…Early this week, we noticed that the egg shortage around the island was real when a bakery that has a supplier of their own went to us and bought eggs in bulk,” she said.

“We immediately called the wholesalers. One said of them said that since shipment comes from the U.S. there was an overlapping and piling of deliveries after Super Typhoon Yutu hit so there was an overstock of eggs and because of that, orders were suspended. But then some eggs went bad and the consumption of eggs over the Christmas season aggravated the already low supply and this is why we have this situation now,” she added.

Shirley’s Coffee Shop Garapan, a restaurant that relies heavily on eggs in their dishes like omelette and scrambled eggs, is trying to survive and finding means to replenish their low supply of eggs before it diminishes. “I was told by one supplier that the delivery of eggs will return in February. Although we only have a few days before February comes, that is still a long time for a restaurant business and our kitchen cannot run out of eggs,” assistant supervisor Ana Tala said.

“I called many suppliers on island looking for eggs of whatever size but nothing is available. Our chef himself will help in scouting out sources because we don’t know how long our supply will last especially with the weekend coming,” she added.

Another restaurant that relies on eggs in their offerings is IHOP in Garapan and it has a different story to tell. “Fortunately for us, we haven’t felt the shortage of eggs on island. Currently, our suppliers still delivers and meets our needs for eggs,” senior manager for Ajisen and IHOP Alice Kentoki said.

“We hope that it will stay that way as our dishes rely on eggs as an ingredient or a part of the dish itself. I hope the shortage will not drag for a long time,” she added.

A supervisor in a supermarket in Garapan also confirmed that their store is running low on eggs but their supplier promised delivery Friday (today). “We were never zero with eggs, just running low that will actually last until tomorrow (today). When that is accomplished, we are back to normal,” he said.

“We were told that the problem was just delay on shipment so there is nothing to worry about. We ask the community to be patient as our suppliers will pull through,” he added.

Bea Cabrera | Correspondent
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.
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