Ultimate Guide to Costco Eggs - Price (Jan 2023), Cage Free Vs. Pasture Raised, Organic vs Non-Organic
Costco Eggs - Everything You Need to Know
As expected, Costco will carry quite a few different egg options. Not including the business centers, Costco has 4 different whole egg options in addition to hard-boiled eggs and liquid egg whites.
In this guide, I will cover:
- Costco’s Commitment to Cage-Free Eggs
- Cage Free vs Pasture Raised Eggs
- Organic vs Non-Organic Eggs
- Costco Eggs – Grade A vs AA
- Costco Egg Prices Updated Jan 2023
The 4 egg options at my Costco are:
- Kirkland Signature Cage Free Eggs, 24 Count
- Kirkland Signature Large Eggs USDA Grade AA, 60 Count (5 Dozen)
- Kirkland Signature Organic Cage Free Eggs, 24 Count
- Kirkland Signature Organic Pasture Raised Grade A Eggs, 24 Count
For the longest time, I would just buy the 5 dozen eggs as it was usually the best price and kept me from having to pick up eggs on every single Costco trip, but I finally got curious and decided to check out what the other options are and to see what the appeal is.
Turns out, there is quite a big difference in how the chickens are raised and fed as well as in the quality of egg.
If you are lucky, your Costco may also carry quail eggs and even duck eggs. Keep an eye out!
Cage Free vs. Free Range vs. Pasture Raised Eggs
Commercial Egg Farming
Egg production and animal welfare have always been major topics of concern in the United States. We have all seen the gruesome pictures and videos of hundreds, if not thousands, of chickens packed in tiny dirty cages with no room to move or spread their wings.
Many consumers and celebrities (Thanks Brad Pitt!) have had enough, and the pressure for cage-free eggs has sparked change which has improved the lives of Billions of chickens. (Billions with a B)
While things have definitely gotten better due to consumer pressure, there is still a certain stigma with commercial egg farms.
Costco’s Commitment to Cage-Free Eggs
According to Costco’s Website, as of September 2022, 97% of the eggs they sell worldwide are cage-free.
Costco has taken its stance, and they are one of the few companies I firmly believe will follow through with what they say.
What Are Cage-Free Eggs?
Costco is committed to cage-free chickens and eggs, but what exactly does that mean?
Cage-free birds aren’t locked up in cages but do live in barns that hold thousands upon thousands of birds with only a required minimum space of 1.25 square feet per chicken and NO required outdoor access. The chickens can freely move around, but there isn’t exactly a lot of excess space to live comfortably.
The chickens do seem to be happier in a cage-free environment over being caged as they include more natural behavior and have stronger bones and more feathers, but there are also some negatives.
Negatives of Cage-Free Chicken and Eggs
The mortality rate of cage-free birds is higher at 10% compared to 5% for caged birds due to hen on hen violence.
With no access to the outdoors, they are still living in a barn with poor air quality and are fed a GMO soy and corn diet rather than a natural diet of bugs, worms and grass.
Free Range Birds
My local Costco doesn’t offer free-range eggs anymore but instead offers higher quality pasture-raised eggs, which I discuss in the section below. If your Costco warehouse still carries free-range eggs, here is some information about those eggs.
Free Range hens are similar to cage-free hens but have outdoor access. They don’t necessarily go outside often, and there is no requirement on how much time a chicken has to be outside to be considered free-range; the only thing that matters is access to an outdoor environment.
Most sources agree that chickens do not leave their barns often, even with access to an outdoor environment, simply because the outdoors is a fenced area with little to no grass or insects to feed on.
Pasture Raised Eggs - Best Pick!
Costco’s organic pastured raised eggs are the highest quality of the bunch.
Pasture-raised chickens have the absolute best living conditions and are guaranteed a minimum of 108 square feet of outdoor space per chicken compared to 1 indoor square foot per caged chicken.
Pasture Raised Chickens also are outside from early morning to late night and only are in their coop at night. They are outside every day (weather dependent), taking in sun and feeding on worms, bugs, and grass.
They do get some supplemental feed from the farmers, and in Costco’s case, they receive an organic diet of corn and soy.
Healthy Benefits of Pasture-Raised Eggs
According to everyone’s second favorite Costco shopper, Bobby Parrish, pasture-raised eggs have a higher nutritional profile than traditional eggs.
Pasture-raised eggs have more omega-3 fatty acids, higher vitamin D, and higher Vitamin E levels from being outside all day and foraging on bugs and grass.
Organic vs. Non-Organic
Requirements for Organic Eggs
There are a few requirements that need to be met for an egg to be labeled as organic:
- The egg must come from hens that are fed an all-organic diet. They cannot be fed any GMO food, animal by-products, or chemical additives.
- The chickens cannot be given antibiotics on a regular basis and can only be given antibiotics as treatment for an infection.
- The chickens must also be raised in at least a cage-free environment with access to the outdoors.
The Organic Egg Controversy
These seem like pretty simple and straightforward requirements, but there is some controversy, and I want you to play along with me. What does outdoor access mean? Can you imagine outdoor access for chickens, and what does it look like?
I imagined chickens with access to an open pen of grass and dirt. What did you think of?
USDA Thoughts On Organic Eggs
Well, the USDA considers an enclosed porch as sufficient outdoor access. It’s possible that an organic chicken with outdoor access may never have touched grass, soil, or the earth we walk on.
The chicken may have gotten some fresh air, but I don’t consider a chicken in an enclosed porch to have gone outside.
I can see the arguments from both sides, but I do think it does cheapen the “Organic” label if chickens that never have true outdoor access can also be labeled organic.
Photo Source: USDA.Gov
Costco Egg Prices - All Options (Updated Jan 2023) - How Much Do Costco Eggs Cost?
Prices May Vary By Location and Region.
Kirkland Signature Cage Free Eggs, 24 Count - $6.49
Total Price – $6.49
Price Per Dozen – $3.25
Price Per Egg – $0.27
The Costco Cage Free Eggs are the most basic option that Costco offers. These are still a great option and cost only $6.49 for 2 dozen cage-free eggs.
Kirkland Signature Large Eggs USDA Grade AA, 60 Count (5 Dozen) - $15.99
Total Price – 15.99
Price Per Dozen – $3.19
Price Per Egg – $0.27
The 5 dozen Kirkland Signature Large Cage Free Egg pack is the most convenient of the Costco egg offerings. They are sold in a 60-count pack with two egg trays holding 30 eggs each. The packaging fits well in the refrigerator and is the best bulk option for those who go through eggs quickly.
There is only a very minor discount for purchasing 5 dozen over 2 dozen cage free eggs.
Kirkland Signature Organic Cage Free Large Eggs, 24 Count - $7.25
Total Price – $7.25
Price Per Dozen – $3.63
Price Per Egg – $0.30
The organic cage free eggs sell for $7.25 and are a little more rare to find. I have 4 Costco locations near me and usually only one will carry organic cage-free eggs.
Kirkland Signature Organic Pasture Raised Grade A Eggs, 24 Count - $8.49
Total Price – $8.49
Price Per Dozen – $4.25
Price Per Egg – $0.35
The Costco Pasture Raised Eggs will be the most premium Costco egg option. These eggs offer the best nutritional value and flavor. They cost $8.49 for a 2 dozen pack, and when available, they are my go-to pick of Costco eggs.
Quack Quack Duck Eggs at Costco, 1 Dozen - $5.89
I found some duck eggs at my local Costco just a few days ago, I’m assuming due to the chicken shortage. The duck eggs are grade A, Large, and humanely raised. They are a good substitute, if your Costco is out of stock of chicken eggs.
A pack of 12 duck eggs sells for $5.89.
Frequenly Asked Questions - Costco Eggs
How Much Are A Dozen Eggs at Costco?
The price of Eggs will vary at Costco depending on the grade and type of egg purchased. A dozen eggs will run you roughly between $3.19 for non-organic cage-free eggs and $4.25 for top tier organic pasture-raised eggs. This is constantly changing due to fluctuations in the cost of eggs.
Are Costco Eggs Cheaper?
Yes, Costco eggs are cheaper across the board compared to any local grocery store. The least expensive Costco eggs sell for $3.19 per dozen, while many other grocery stores are in the $5+ range per dozen for the same eggs.
Why Does Costco Sometimes Have a 2 Item Limit On Its Eggs
Due to the Avian influenza outbreak, egg production and supply have been limited. Due to the nature of the cage-free and pasture-raised chickens, they are especially susceptible to the bird flu due to how they are kept.
This has caused an increase in prices all throughout the country, and some Costco locations are limited egg purchases to two items per member.
This isn’t necessarily a hard egg limit on your membership but more of a limit per transaction. If you really NEED eggs, then you can go back into the store and checkout again with two more packages of eggs.
But be courteous, we are all sharing the limited egg supply, and there is no need to be greedy.
No Costco Eggs? Sold Out?
I go to Costco regularly, and there have been a handful of times over the past few weeks when Costco has not had any eggs available for purchase.
Avian influenza has decimated the egg-laying hen population, and supply has been significantly reduced. The egg supply is constantly changing; if your Costco doesn’t have eggs this time, they may have them next time. It’s unpredictable, and your best bet is to purchase a carton or two when available.
Where Does Costco Get Their Eggs?
Like most Kirkland Signature products, Costco doesn’t openly display the origins of the company/producer of the product, and the eggs are no exception.
However, they did list their regional egg suppliers in the August 2011 Costco Connection Magazine. The list may be outdated as it is over 10 years old, and Costco has shifted much of its egg production to China.
Here are the Farms listed in the 2011 Costco Connection:
- Washington: Wilcox Farms, Roy, WA
- Utah: Oakdell Egg Farms, Lewiston Utah
- Bay Area: Den Dulk Poultry Farms and NuCal Foods, both located in Ripon California
- San Diego: Chino Valley Ranchers, Arcadia California,
- Texas: Soncrest Egg Co, Gonzales, Texas
- Northeast: Pete and Gemy’s Organic Eggs, Monroe, New Hampshire
- Midwest: Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, Saranac, Michigan, and Nature Pure LLC, Ramon, Ohio
- Southwest: L&R Farms, Pendergrass, Georgia