The struggle is real when trying to find the perfect avocado that is not unripe but also not too ripe. There are few things more frustrating than slicing into an avocado only to learn you're a few days early or, worse, a few days late. Thankfully, for those guilty of not being able to distinguish between an underripe and overripe avocado, a sticker with a color gradient is here to help.
First spotted by a user on Reddit, who shared an image online, the sticker is from New Zealand's Freshmax. According to Munchies, the "color-gradated sticker" is on the avocado's skin and shoppers can use it as a reference for how ripe an avocado is since the fruit's skin changes color as it ripens.
The sticker breaks down the ripening process into three parts, with a corresponding color: The top portion of the sticker is labeled "not ripe" and features a bright-green color, followed by a "firm ripe" gradient that is darker, and a "soft ripe" section that is the darkest.
Some retailers and brands have been slapping on stickers that say "ripe now" to help shoppers know which avocados among the bunch are ready to be consumed immediately, but this system can be flawed, as ripeness is fast-changing and short-lived, and the sticker could be misleading or out-of-date within days. With the color-gradient sticker, shoppers can judge for themselves whether the avocado they're looking at is the right shade of ripe.
That said, skin color is just one of several factors to keep in mind when selecting a ripe avocado. While it assists in visual selection, different variants of avocados change colors in unique ways when ripening. So shoppers should have other tips and methods in their arsenal to truly ensure they're picking a ripe fruit.
Food Network advises looking for heavier avocados, ones that are taut and have no dents. Kitchn previously reported that checking under the stem is a great, simple way to assess ripeness. If the stem comes off easily and there's green underneath, then you have a ripe avocado; if the area under the stem is brown, then it means it is overripe (as in, it'll likely have all that brown grossness on the inside); and if the stem doesn't come off easily, then it's not ripe enough.