Why Avocado Prices Have Dropped At An Incredible Rate

The price of avocados has long served as small-talk fodder among shoppers in line at the grocery store. More often than not, people are balking at how expensive it is to buy a pound of the creamy green fruit. But in the past few weeks, the price of avocados has dropped significantly, says CNN, shifting the conversation in the opposite direction. 

In Philadelphia last month, the nonprofit Sharing Excess made national headlines by giving away upwards of 300,000 avocados to prevent slightly damaged hauls — which were rejected by grocery stores — from going to waste. Per an Instagram announcement from the organizers, the free-for-all event came on the heels of what Sharing Excess called "the largest avocado surplus in decades" in South America. Not every city is giving away droves of free avocados in public parks, but the popular product is cheaper than ever at supermarkets across the country. Here's how leading avocado farms found themselves with a bountiful bumper crop in the midst of global inflation.  

A perfect storm of events

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall price of food at home increased 13.5% over the fiscal period that ended in August 2022, which hasn't happened since 1979. Despite the ongoing inflation of grocery items, CNN reports that wholesale prices for crates of 48 avocados are down 35% to under $30 year-over-year. David Magana, Rabo AgriFinance's senior fresh produce analyst, said that number is a whopping 67% decrease from the fruit's peak price in June. At the grocery store, CNN says that as of September, the average price of a single avocado is 2.6% lower than last year.

If you've been keeping up with your avocado news alerts, you might remember that U.S. imports of avocados from the Mexico avocado hub Michoacán were suspended by the USDA back in February after a "threatening phone message" to an American inspector was made, per The  Guardian. The halt was devastating for Michoacán farmers, who were left with tons of rotten avocados and lost revenue. But once the smoke cleared, Mexican farmers found themselves with a bountiful harvest. 

A portion of these bumper crops would normally be sent to Europe and China, per CNN, but things like low demand "port congestion" means the U.S. is raking in most of the supply. And good news for all of you frugal guacamole lovers out there: David Magana tells CNN that avocado prices are expected to remain low through the middle of 2023.