Whether you live for avocado toast or crave fresh guacamole with your tortilla chips, it’s safe to say the avocado obsession is real. But unfortunately, we have found a downside to this trendy (and healthy!) fruit. Avocados can put a pretty nasty hole in your wallet, and prices are only expected to get higher.
The latest price jump is partly due to how fast we’re snatching avocados off the shelves. It’s a basic economic principle: When demand is high and supply is low, prices will increase.
But that’s not the only thing causing prices to soar this year. The combo of a long draught, severe heat wave last summer, and heavy rains this winter has taken a serious toll on crops in California and Mexico, the two biggest suppliers of avocados. (Funny enough, Mexico has something to do with the dirty origin of the word avocado.)
“We lost fruit that would have sized up to be this year’s crop,” Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, a trade group for avocado growers, told the Los Angeles Times.
At the beginning of August this year, California had produced only one-third of what it had harvested by this time last year, the Hass Avocado Board reports. And overall state production is supposed to take a hit, too, dropping from 401 million pounds in 2016 to just 215 million pounds this year. That’s a smaller harvest by nearly one-half, according to the California Avocado Commission.
With avocado farmers cutting their losses, we’ll have to start cutting our budgets, too. We paid just 94 cents for an avocado in May 2016, but that number has nearly doubled this year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average avocado cost $1.25 last week, up from $1.14 last year. And experts predict that prices can only go up from there.
If your wallet is already feeling the effects, you might want to stock up on avocados, stat! And thankfully, we have a trick that will make them last WAY longer.