Guacamole and avocado toast are about to cost you a lot more green.
Between an intense heat wave, summer drought and heavy winter rains, California, the nation’s leading avocado producer, has suffered a significant shortfall of fruits this year. Forecasts expect production to plunge as much as 46% to 215 million pounds, down from 401 million pounds in 2016.
“We lost fruit that would have have sized up to be this year’s crop,” Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, a trade group for avocado growers, told the Los Angeles Times.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of an avocado jumped to $1.25 last week — up from $1.14 last year at the same time and just 94 cents at the start of summer 2016.
Mexico, the leading international avocado supplier to the U.S., suffered similar weather this year and is able to send fewer boxes across the border, adding to the scarcity.
The shortage comes at an already difficult time. Between the popularity of guacamole, the avocado toast trend, and major fast food brands like Starbucks and Subway offering avocado spreads in-store, demand for the for the fruit has never been higher.
“When supply is tight and demand is good, prices are going to be impacted,” DeLyser told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s the situation we’re in right now.”
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