America’s Favorite Fruit Is About to Get a Whole Lot More Expensive

published May 4, 2017
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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

Avocado-lovers need to brace their wallets, as prices of the healthy fruit are going to continue increasing. Bloomberg reports that a combination of growing demand and a smaller crop will keep the cost of avocados high this year.

Right now, a 22-pound box of Hass avocados from Mexico cost $27.89. That’s double what it cost last year and the highest prices have been in the past 19 years.

(Image credit: Nick Evans)

Part of the reason is growing demand. In America alone, the intake of avocados has been steadily rising: The per-capita consumption went from 3.5 pounds in 2006 to 6.9 pounds in 2015. Then, there are increases in consumption elsewhere around the globe in places like Europe and China. According to the Financial Times, Latin America’s avocado exports to China is growing 250 percent a year.

For the United States, Mexico is the largest supplier, providing 82 percent of the avocados enjoyed by Americans. In 2000, Mexico shipped out 24 million pounds of avocado to the U.S., says data from the Hass Avocado Board, but by 2015, the nation was exporting 1.76 billion pounds of the fruit. The remaining 16 percent of avocado is sourced from countries like Peru and Colombia, and the state of California.

This year, the crop in California — the state produces 80 percent of American avocados but only 7 percent of avocados consumed by Americans — will be low. Estimates suggest avocado production will be 44 percent lower this year due to heatwaves and drought. Peru has also suffered from dwindling supply due to flooding in the southern region of the country where avocado is grown, reports BBC.

Another facet is how avocados grow. According to Bloomberg, they are “alternate-bearing crops,” which means one year there will be large harvests followed by a year with small harvests. The 2017 calendar year is a small harvest year to begin with. That, coupled with growing global demand, means guacamole and avocado toast is going to cost you more this year.