Heavy demand and a lack of supply for avocados has driven some people to stealing them from Bay of Plenty orchards, while more law-abiding citizens are forced to pay an average of $4.61 for a 200g avocado.
The price per avocado is up from $1.88 in June 2015.
Avocado New Zealand chief executive Jen Scouler said in June the country has suffered from a short season and last year’s low supply.
About 25 million avocados were sold in New Zealand last season, and between 1200 and 2000 avocados were stolen from orchards. The Guardian reported on an avocado-driven crime wave back in June. New Zealand’s love affair with avocados continues to produce record-breaking domestic sales of $41 million during the 2015-2016 season. The total end-of season results including export sales were $134 million.
These figures almost matched the $135 million posted for the 2014-2015 season despite a much lower crop.
Scouler says the demand in New Zealand is only growing.
“Five years ago the New Zealand market achieved between $15 million and $20 million annually without ever getting much above that.
“Avocados are becoming a highly valued fruit due to their amazing health benefits.”
Consumers in New Zealand should start to see a greater supply of avocados when the 2016-2017 export season begins next month. The first crop estimate for the new season is 7.6m trays – nearly double the volume available last season.
New Zealand isn’t the only country experiencing a traumatic avocado shortage – this sign was spotted in Melbourne, Australia.
Even though avocado prices continue to rise, it is not all doom and gloom at the supermarket. Dairy lovers can rejoice as the average price for 1kg of mild cheddar is down from last June, now costing $7.68, compared to last year’s $9.12.
Cheese prices in general have fallen to the lowest level in almost nine years, and overall food prices area being dragged down by cheaper dairy products.
The price decrease of dairy products in supermarkets is in line with the global dairy prices remaining down.
The food price index from Statistic New Zealand revealed the good news for shoppers that in the 12 months to June 30, food prices fell by 0.5 per cent.
Statistics New Zealand consumer price manager Matt Haigh says the price of cheese in now the lowest it’s been since September 2007.
Meat, poultry and fish prices decreased 0.9 per cent over the past year.