Guacamole is about to cost a lot more … guac.
After reaching record high prices already, the Hass Avocado Board released data indicating that the number of shipments of avocados from Mexico into the U.S. has plummeted. That means prices are skyrocketing.
In the first week of October, avocado shipments from Mexico to the U.S. were down to just 22.9 million pounds – about half of last year’s 44 million pounds during the same week.
As a result, prices are about to make a big jump after an already difficult year for the market. A rep for Santa Ana, California-based supplier Ingardia Brothers Produce said in an interview with the Orange County Register that cases of avocados are hovering around the $76 mark – well above the average of $25 – $35 of just last summer. Meanwhile, in the avocado-loving Southwestern states where the fruit is typically least expensive, a single piece is going for $1.65 – “the highest ever recorded in the region—and twice as much as it was six months ago,” as Quartz reported.
This isn’t the first hardship the avocado market has faced in recent years. Widespread droughts and thermometer-popping record temperatures in California – the largest domestic avocado producer – and Mexico have laid waste to the sensitive crop.
As avocados become more difficult and more expensive to cultivate, producers face yet another problem, though it should be a “good” problem: soaring demand.
Consumption of the once-ignored “alligator pear” has exploded in the last two decades. According to The Atlantic, the average person in the 1990s ate about 1.5 pounds of avocado annually. By 2012, that increased to five pounds per year.
We aren’t the only ones with avocado-based woes, though. In Australia this week, the avocado stands at the center of a widely discussed generational rift.