I threw away the last two avocados I bought. The first was black and soft on one side, while remaining hard as a rock on the other. The second was brown all the way through. But I'm tempted to dig through the compost bin to retrieve them after realizing we are entering A Great Avocado Crisis and they will now only be traded for solid gold bullion.
Sorry, just panicked a bit there. But in reality, avocado prices are skyrocketing. Last week, USA Today reported that average the price per avocado for the first week of July was up to $2.10, compared to $1.17 on the same week in 2018. An industry analyst said they were $87 per 25 lb box for July 4 week, compared to $37 in 2018. That alone had me a little panicky, so I looked at the paper's source: the USDA. The week of July 12 had a much more comforting report, though: The retail price of Hass avocados were down to $1.25 each, compared to $1.13 the year before.
But the fact that July 4 week had such a spike in prices proves USA Today's larger point, which is that one huge reason avocados are costing more is that the demand is higher. (Cue someone's rant about millennials and avocado toast.) Another cause is that California had a poor season of avocado crop, and July is a low point of avocado production in Mexico. You remember your high school economics: High demand plus low supply = high prices.
We can't blame this on Trump and his tariff threats ... yet.
"We’ve had the possibility of [Mexico] tariffs and the border closing and also a few weeks ago the probability of tariffs on all commodities coming from Mexico, and we’ve observed a few price spikes,” analyst David Magaña told the paper. “But now is only a supply-and-demand combination.”
In the meantime, we might be seeing the results of these higher than normal prices in the menus of our favorite restaurants. According to Austin360, some taco joints in that food mecca are just eating the loss of profits caused by high avocado prices; other restaurants have stopped offering them altogether.
Things might ease up again soon, when avocados are back in season south of the border. Until then, maybe it's time we give that New York Times frozen pea guacamole recipe a chance?