Whether you plan to make your own guacamole or pick up your favorite brand of pre-made dip at the store, you might experience some sticker shock at the cash register. The price of avocados hit a record high at the beginning of February as a combination of supply and demand factors pushed the cost of the popular fruit to levels not seen in decades.
According to an index that tracks prices in Mexico’s largest avocado-growing region, the price of a 9-kilogram box of Hass avocados was $26.23 on Feb. 3, marking the highest price on the index in two decades at this time of year, Bloomberg reports.
And unlike previous years, where a shortfall of supply drove avocado prices up, that is not the case now.
In January alone, Mexico sent more than 222 million pounds of avocados into the U.S., and the state of California harvested more than 8.8 million pounds, according to Produce News. Even with more than a quarter of a billion pounds of avocados on the market, keeping up with customer demand has been difficult.
The two most popular sizes of avocados are trading for nearly $60 per carton, and even the smaller varieties are over $40 a carton. Rob Wedin, the executive vice president of fresh sales for Calavo Growers Inc. in California, said these prices are a result of retailers stocking up their supply as the Super Bowl draws near.
Each year ahead of the Super Bowl, avocado prices jump higher as people buy in bulk to make guacamole for their parties. However, Bloomberg reported this year’s historic price level stems from the push in demand due to the Super Bowl combined with labor shortages and wage hikes as well as higher production costs.
Prices are up across the board at retailers, particularly at the grocery store. Business Insider shared data from the Hass Avocado Board that showed fruit cost nearly 15% more than this time last year.
But even as avocado prices hit a high, demand remains constant — and high prices might, too. Wedin, of Calavo Growers, told Produce News he expects demand to hold steady after the football season ends, and David Magana, a senior analyst for Rabobank International, told Bloomberg the weeks after the Super Bowl will be telling.
“If we continue to see higher prices despite better availability in the next couple of months, that’ll tell us the demand is there — not just for Super Bowl weekend, but year-round,” Magana told Bloomberg.
How To Watch The Super Bowl Without Cable
Super Bowl LVI will air on NBC on Feb. 13. If you don’t have cable, you can still tune into the Super Bowl. You can stream it on Peacock or the NBC Sports app. But if you want to avoid subscription fees, the original way to watch the Super Bowl remains the most cost-effective and reliable: install an over-the-air digital antenna. Since the game always airs on either CBS, Fox or NBC — three of the major over-the-air broadcast networks — it’s totally free for anyone with a TV and antenna to watch on their local affiliate.
If you’ve already got your over-the-air antenna set up and your local NBC affiliate is already scanned into your channel lineup, simply flip to that station on the day of the game and enjoy the coverage from start to finish, fee-free, including NBC’s pre- and post-game shows, all the commercials and the halftime show.
If you don’t have an over-the-air antenna, check out this guide on finding the best one for your needs, then install it and run a scan for channels on your TV. Your local NBC affiliate should be among the ones you receive, and that’s where you’ll want to flip on game day.