photo by Westend61 via getty images

We got through the shortage, folks

Sammy Nickalls
March 29, 2018

Remember how bad 2016 was? There was that one really bad thing that happened in November, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about October, when it was announced that there would be an avocado shortage. But while the last couple years have seen spikes in avocado prices (and a lot of "aw, poor millennials" jokes), this year looks mighty promising for avocado-lovers.

According to produce industry trade publication The Packer, avocado crops in California, Mexico, and Peru are expected to be "heavy" this year—at least partially due to the fact that they're an "alternate-bearing fruit," meaning that it's normal for crops to be heavier one year and lighter the next. 2017 was an "off" year with considerably smaller crops, but this year, US avocado volume is expected to reach 2.4 billion pounds—300 million more than 2017, according to Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board.

Escobedo told The Packer that from 2007 through 2011, avocado volume hovered between 1 billion and 1.2 billion pounds, but as it gained popularity, "the volume just took off" in 2011. But what matters is the present: The fact that we can get our avocado fix this year with no problems. "There will definitely be more fruit than last year," he confirmed.

So will oversupply be an issue? Probably not, Escobedo said: "Demand is definitely there for high-quality avocados." Additionally, as The Fresno Bee reports, per capita consumption has gone up from 2.23 pounds in 2000 to a whopping 7.1 pounds in 2016.

"It has really been amazing to see the growth," said Ken Melban, vice president of industry affairs for the California Avocado Commission. "There is so much demand out there."

Even if avocados may have lost some of their "cool factor" over the last year or so, it's probably safe to say that we won't have any troubles gobbling up their supply.

 

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