Why You May Be Feeling Avocado Sticker Shock

Will budget-minded eaters soon need to start spreading something a little less pricey on their morning toast?

rye sandwiches and mashed avocado, eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers

rye sandwiches and mashed avocado, eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers

Photo by: Nataliya Arzamasova

Nataliya Arzamasova

Are you suffering from avocado sticker shock — wondering if, perhaps, you should start spreading something a little less pricey on your morning toast?

You may be right to wonder. The wholesale price of Hass avocados has shot up 125 percent since the beginning of the year, according to American Restaurant Association statistics cited by CNN — reaching a record high.

That increase in price has been passed along to the consumer: The average retail price for a Hass avocado at the outset of September was $1.81 — much more than the $1.05 we were paying on average just one year ago. What’s more, far fewer supermarkets were offering retail promotions lowering the price of avocados than a year as well, the produce industry publication The Packer reports, pointing to numbers tabulated by the USDA. So sale shoppers are not getting a break.

Skyrocketing millennial demand is only partly to blame for the higher prices. Domestic and imported avocado supply is down 30 percent from what they were a year ago — with “spotty” raining in Mexico, the major producer for U.S. avocados, slowing the picking process, according to The Packer. California has also had an off year, Bloomberg notes.

In time, things will get better and prices will go down, of course. In fact, Bloomberg speculates, we could be in for an avocado glut in two to three years, as growers adjust their crops to meet demand and trees planted now mature to produce fruit.

That’s definitely something for budget-minded guacamole fans to look forward to.

Photo: iStock

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