Jan 25, 2022 - News

The cost of avocados in Austin is going up

Avocados for sale.
Loose avocados for sale. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

The cost of guacamole is going up as we close in on the Super Bowl.

Driving the news: We noticed that a single, small avocado at our local HEB sells for 91 cents. A year ago — yes, we looked back at our curbside receipts — it went for 52 cents.

The big picture: We checked in with the USDA, and, sure enough, HEB is not alone.

  • The average price of avocados in the country's South Central region — which includes Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas — was $1.61 the first two weeks of 2022, up from $1.03 for the same period in 2021 and $1.04 in 2020, per USDA data.
  • Of note: Those price increases include avocados big and small.

What they're saying: "The problem is truck and labor shortages," Melissa Reeves of the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service tells Axios. "The prices are higher due to standard supply and demand issues."

  • "None of the quirky factors," — such as agricultural cartels or weather — "seem to be at play right now. … Retailer gouging does not seem to be an issue at this time — the price hike is a legitimate response to open market conditions," Reeves added.
  • An HEB official told Axios "this is an industry-wide, nationwide supply and demand issue."

Our thought bubble: Picking the perfect avocado is more valuable than ever.

  • Or you can always stretch your guac, and anger some loved ones, by mixing in mashed green peas.
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