Avocado Prices Skyrocket Amid Shortage

Find out what's behind the shortage and how much it could impact your pocketbook.

Avocado Prices Skyrocket Amid Shortage Photo by Ingrid Balabanova / Shutterstock.com

There’s bad news for avocado lovers: A nationwide shortage of the popular fruit has sent avocado prices through the roof.

According to Time, the U.S. typically receives about 40 million pounds of avocados each week from Mexico. But that hasn’t been the case lately. Just two weeks ago, the U.S. received a mere 13 million pounds of the popular fatty fruit.

Most of the avocados eaten in the U.S. come from Mexico, where avocado growers have been withholding the green fruit in an effort to negotiate higher prices for it, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A weak avocado harvest in California this summer and early fall exacerbated the shortage.

Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado Co. — a grower and importer in San Diego — tells the Chronicle that even after price negotiations with Mexican avocado growers are resolved, there will still be a waiting period for avocado-hungry consumers.

Henry says it takes several days to pack and ship avocados from Mexico to the U.S. After that, there’s still a ripening lag time of two to four days before the fruit is sent out to supermarkets and restaurants.

Consumers and businesses alike are feeling the pinch of the avocado shortage. Some Mexican restaurants have been out of avocados for days. Others are hiking the price of their avocado dishes.

Cynthia Guzman of Nature’s Produce, a fresh fruit broker and distributor in California, tells CNBC:

“We’re not going to have any avocados for anybody for maybe a week and a half. We’re seeing fruit out there at double the price it normally would be.”

Some retailers are reporting avocados selling for three times their typical price.

Despite the avocado shortage, Mexican chain Chipotle says you can still eat all the guacamole you want at its restaurants. A spokesperson from Chipotle told Business Insider:

“We do not plan to raise prices for guacamole (we don’t typically raise prices in response to short-term cyclical changes in food costs) and have not incurred any supply disruptions.”

Have you noticed a shortage of avocados, or prices increases on the fruit at the supermarket? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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