'Hold on to your guacamole': Avocado prices surging in North America
Amid reports of rising avocado prices in Mexico and the U.S., one food expert says Canada is also experiencing an “avocado crisis” that could abate by the fall. (Foodie Factor/Pexels)
High demand and a dip in production has led to a widespread “avocado crisis” in North America, according to experts.
Sticker shock is affecting the food service industry across Mexico, the U.S. and Canada with prices tripling in the past year, Sylvain Charlebois, a food distribution and policy researcher, told CTVNews.ca
“We’re experiencing an avocado crisis. Hold on to your guacamole,” said Charlebois, who is the director of the Agri-food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. “Typically in Canada an avocado is about a buck each. I would dare you to find anything south of $2 right now.”
The price tags aren’t just ticking up in the grocery aisles, but wholesalers and restaurateurs are taking a hit too, said Charlebois. Finding quality avocados that aren’t at a premium price is an increasing challenge for the food service industry. It’s forcing some business owners to make changes to the plate and the menu.
“Sometimes the food service industry will pass on the extra cost to consumers,” he said. “Or if you’re serving nachos you may go heavy on the sour cream and salsa sauce instead of providing guacamole.”
Some taquerias in Mexico City have even reportedly started serving “fake guacamole,” using a Mexican squash instead of an avocado.
Though the cost may be steep now, Charlebois is hopeful the popular green “superfood” will get more affordable by the fall. Production dips in Mexico, combined with increasing export numbers, are partly to blame, he said.
“We are expecting things to go back to normal as Mexico ramps up its production in the fall,” he said. “Canadians should continue to expect to pay more for avocados until probably September or October.”