They're so good that they're stopping an entire generation from home ownership. That might have been a bit of an exaggeration, but avocados are getting expensive. Drought and last summer's monster heat wave have created an avocado production shortfall in California that has prices rising, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The Hass Avocado Board projects California, the leading US provider of avocados, will produce 46% less than last year, a drop from 401 million pounds to 215 million pounds. Unfortunately, suppliers in Mexico, which grows the majority of avocados sold in the US, are "suffering in a similar fashion," says the supplier Produce Express. It's a perfect storm for anyone who needs their Saturday morning Instagram feed full o' 'cados.
Last week, the average price of an avocado was $1.25. That's up from $1.14 this time last year and just $0.94 in May 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture. The rise could continue with wholesale prices currently at $1.33 per fruit ($80 for a wholesale box of 60).
The lower supply comes at a time when avocados are awfully trendy. Avocado toast has become weirdly popular, major chains are adding avocado to menus, and people are wearing avocado-themed swimsuits for some damn reason. “When supply is tight and demand is good, prices are going to be impacted,” Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, told the Times. “That’s the situation we’re in right now.”
Prices are rising, yet some stores are absorbing the price hike, hoping to keep customers happy. But that's a situation that can't last forever if prices continue to climb. Eventually, something Hass to give.
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