Avocado Prices Have Gone Up 125 Percent This Year
A bad harvest season combined with high demand could be to blame for the surge in prices.
CNNMoney reports that since the beginning of 2017, the wholesale price of avocados has gone up 125 percent. That means that the average price of a box of 48 avocados costs about $83—up from only $32 in January. The American Restaurant Association thinks this is the highest price surge for avocados since 1999. In fact, David Maloni, president of the ARA, told CNNMoney that this could be the “highest ever” avocado prices have been.
You’ll probably be feeling the price surge at the checkout counter at your grocery store, too: While a single Hass avocado cost 89 cents at the beginning of the year, it now costs $1.17, according to prices cataloged on the Hass Avocado Board.
What’s causing this major bump in prices? For one thing, avocados are at the height of their popularity. At this avocado-only restaurant in Brooklyn called Avocaderia, for instance, the owners say they go through around 200 avocados every day. Labor shortages also have the potential to jack up prices, as do low yields during the avocado harvest season, which some scientists are now hoping to solve by creating more trees using stem cells.
While some polls suggest that millennials aren’t even eating avocado toast, CNNMoney reports that the average American eats 7 pounds of guacamole every year. The newest threat to our precious supply of avocados is that President Trump may withdraw from NAFTA, which would mean high tariffs on Mexican products, including avocados—meaning prices could potentially go up even more.
Americans aren't likely to curb their avocado habit anytime soon (And who would want to? They're delicious). Looks like we'll just have to endure ever-climbing prices until the industry finds a way to meet demand without forcing fans of the fruit to go broke.