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.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more