Why Are Avocados So Expensive Right Now? Here Are 3 Reasons
It’s a time-honored tradition to complain about how expensive avocados are while simultaneously digging into your third order of guacamole for the week, but right now they are even more pricey than usual.
Wholesale avocado prices have increased 75% since July alone, reports Uproxx, and signs are popping up in New York that due to the rising costs of avocados, prices for items including them have to be raised too.
Here are three reasons why everybody’s favorite healthy food keeps costing more and more — and whether you can expect prices to return to normal anytime soon.
1. The basic law of supply and demand.
“The simple reason is that demand is high and supply hasn’t been able to respond,” John Bovay, an agricultural economist at the University of Connecticut, told PEOPLE. “Avocados are extremely popular — people use them to make guacamole and avocado toast is really trendy right now — they’re just all over the place.”
“Demand is high. And it’s not just in the U.S. It’s also in China and in Europe,” he continued. “Because avocados are a tree fruit it takes three or four years for the trees to reach maturity and start bearing fruit. So basically production can’t keep up with demand and when that happens, prices rise.”
2. Avocado trees don’t produce the same amount of fruit every year.
“The California crop is down significantly this year,” Bovay said. “And that’s not because of weather or anything specific to this year, but because avocados and many other tree fruits produce a lot one year and then they produce less the next year, and then they produce a lot the third year, and then less the fourth year. It’s called alternate bearing.”
3. The growing season for avocados in California is already over for the year.
“California produces most of the avocados, about 80% of the avocados grown in US,” Bovay says. “And obviously Hass Avocados is the type of avocado that’s most popular, and that’s mostly grown in California.”
“But their growing season is fairly short, from March to about July or August,” he continued. “So in this time of year if we want Hass avocados we have to import them and when we import them from Mexico we’re competing with everybody else in the world who wants Mexican Hass avocados.”
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So when can we expect prices to get drop again?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure. When asked if there was a way to predict when prices would stop increasing, Bovay replied, “No, there’s not.”
“Consumption of avocados in the US has doubled in the last decade, which is a pretty rapid growth for an agricultural commodity,” he says. “If demand keeps growing, farmers may plant more avocados or they may keep selling us avocados at inflated prices.”
If all this talk has has got you feeling spendy, here are our best avocado recipes.