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The average price for a dozen eggs in Hawaii is currently around $4.29, making them considerably more expensive than the national average of $2.93 per dozen according to the USDA.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors influencing Hawaii’s high egg costs and provide a breakdown of prices by island and type of egg.

Key Reasons for Hawaii’s High Egg Prices

Extra Transportation Costs

Hawaii’s geographical isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean makes transporting goods like eggs expensive. Everything consumed in Hawaii must be shipped in from elsewhere. According to the USDA, shipping a standard 40-foot container from Los Angeles to Honolulu costs around $6,000.

Transporting refrigerated items is even more costly due to equipment and fuel expenses. These extra freight charges get passed onto Hawaii consumers.

Smaller Local Supplies

Compared to the mainland U.S., Hawaii’s egg production is tiny and cannot fulfill statewide demand. The islands only have around 100,000 chickens for eggs, meeting less than 10% of consumption needs. With few local suppliers, Hawaii imports over 90% of eggs from the West Coast.

Having to rely heavily on external shipments reduces supply chain resilience, especially when adverse weather or events disrupt transport routes.

Hawaii Egg Production Mainland U.S. Egg Production
100,000 chickens Over 300 million chickens
Meets <10% of demand Broad distribution networks

Higher Feed Costs

The price of grain and corn cattle feed is substantially higher in Hawaii than other states. With limited local agriculture, over 85% of livestock feed is imported at inflated prices due to freight fees. These extra expenses trickle down to customers.

University of Hawaii researchers found egg production costs per dozen were 23% higher in Hawaii than California, attributed chiefly to pricier poultry feed.

Egg Prices by Island


Oahu is the most populous island in Hawaii, where demand for eggs tends to be high. According to the Hawaii Egg Farmers Association, a dozen Grade A regular white eggs cost on average $4.29 on Oahu as of December 2022. That’s nearly double the national average egg price of $2.28 per dozen.

The high prices are driven by Hawaii’s isolation from mainland suppliers and elevated transportation costs to ship products by air or sea.


Picturesque Maui also sees elevated egg prices compared to the continental US. A sample check of grocery stores in December 2022 showed costs ranging from $3.99 to $4.49 per dozen for regular Grade A white eggs. Prices can fluctuate based on tourism demand.

The Maui Egg Ladies farm offers an online shop selling free-range eggs for $8 per dozen, indicating strong demand for specialty eggs.

Hawaii Island (Big Island)

Hawaii Island residents pay slightly less for eggs compared to Oahu and Maui. According to the University of Hawaii’s cost of living allowances, a dozen Grade A eggs cost $3.99 on average in Hilo as of mid-2022. The Big Island is less populated than Oahu and Maui, with lower overall demand.

But isolated communities still see elevated prices due to distribution challenges across the rugged terrain.


The “Garden Island” of Kauai sees frequent egg shortages that lead to periods of spiking costs. In December 2022, residents reported paying up to $5.49 for a dozen eggs as suppliers struggled to meet holiday baking demand.

Over the past five years, the average price for a dozen eggs on Kauai hovered around $4.15. Prices are highly volatile based on supply and can jump 50% overnight when inventory runs low at the island’s few grocery stores.

Organic vs Conventional Eggs


Organic eggs come from chickens that are raised on certified organic feed and have access to the outdoors. The organic label means the chickens are not given antibiotics or hormones, and the feed is grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Some key points about organic eggs:

  • Organic eggs tend to be more expensive than conventional eggs, often costing $4-6 per dozen compared to $2-3 per dozen for conventional.
  • Many people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones used in conventional egg production.
  • Organic chickens must have access to the outdoors and space to roam. This can result in stronger egg shells and darker, more flavorful egg yolks.
  • There is mixed research on whether organic eggs are more nutritious. Some studies show higher vitamin A and E levels, while other studies show little difference.

When it comes to ethics and environmental impact, organic eggs appear to have an advantage. The production methods are more humane and sustainable. However, not everyone can afford the higher prices of organic.


Conventional eggs make up about 90% of the market and come from chickens raised in cage-free barns. While cheaper to produce, conventional eggs have some downsides compared to organic:

  • Chickens may be confined indoors their whole lives without access to the outdoors.
  • Their feed contains pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified grains in some cases.
  • Preventative antibiotics are routinely given to flocks to control disease.
  • Up to 60-70% of eggs could contain salmonella bacteria, presenting a slight food poisoning risk if not handled properly.

On the plus side, the large scale production of conventional eggs makes them very affordable. When money is tight, conventional eggs provide an inexpensive source of protein. The shells may be slightly thinner and yolks lighter in color due to the feed and lack of sunlight, but they still offer the same nutritional content.

Comparison Organic Eggs Conventional Eggs
Price Higher ($4-6 per dozen) Lower ($2-3 per dozen)
Chicken living conditions Access to outdoors. More humane. Often caged indoors. Less humane.
Chicken feed Organic grains. No GMOs. Conventional grains. May contain GMOs.
Use of chemicals/antibiotics No hormones or routine antibiotics Preventative antibiotics common.
Food safety Lower risk of salmonella Higher risk of salmonella
Nutrition Mixed research. May be slightly higher in some vitamins. Same nutritional content.
Environmental impact More sustainable practices Can have higher carbon footprint

As we can see, organic eggs come at a higher monetary cost. But they offer some ethical advantages and lower food poisoning risks. The choice comes down to personal priorities and budget.


In summary, transportation constraints, limited local production, and high feed expenses in Hawaii contribute to egg prices that can run 50-100% higher than national averages. Prices also vary considerably between islands and types of eggs.

Going forward, increasing local egg supplies where possible could help improve affordability over time. But Hawaii’s geographic isolation will likely continue to pose challenges compared to other states.

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