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Avocados are a trendy food. They're being slathered on toast, blended into smoothies, and of course mashed into guacamole. As we've noted before, though, the fatty green fruit has grown more expensive in recent years.
Despite what a handful of articles seem to suggest, the price increases aren't based solely on millennials' fascination with avocado toast. Aside from high demand, rising costs on this snacking favorite are often based on limited supply or buying outside of the growing season. Fortunately, now our luck seems to be changing.
A large part of the U.S. avocado supply comes from California, which has a growing season lasting from March to July or August. This means early summer is a great time to stock up on these tasty fruits. Last year's California crop was low — down 44% from 2016. The lower supply ended up being a big part of why avocados were more expensive last summer.
But 2018 is a different story. Around this time of year, avocados should be relatively affordable. And compared to early May of last year, avocados are 25% cheaper when buying wholesale. Plus, if you look at avocado prices from late March of this year and those from the same period last year, the 2018 avocados cost 17% less at retail outlets.
With a higher supply and lower prices, plenty of restaurants are taking advantage. Now is an excellent time to fill up on all your avocado-topped favorites. Starbucks has put an avocado spread on its permanent menu, and Chili's has added the fruit to one of its burgers. Even fast food restaurants are cashing in on the trend. Wendy's recently released a southwest avocado chicken salad and sandwich to cater to fans.
Odds are, prices will creep upwards the closer we draw to the end of summer. Since avocado season can last as long as August, we might not see huge increases then, but by September, prices will likely be going up again. While that might make it sound like guacamole is off the menu for your fall tailgate parties, that's not the case. Consider stocking up on avocados now and freezing them for later.
However, be aware that freezing can affect their texture, just like when you freeze other fruits. Though the thought of a strange texture might be off-putting, the good news is you can blend thawed avocados into guacamole and other dishes. The texture won't be an issue then, and you can enjoy delicious, fresh-tasting guacamole well into November.
Readers, will you be buying more avocados? What's your favorite way to enjoy the buttery green fruit? Let us know in the comments below!