Avocados are about to get even pricier, but this time it’s not about inflation — it’s about turf wars in Mexico
Enjoy that avo toast while you can… A supply problem is coming for your guac, and it’s not because of a chip shortage. Over the weekend, the US banned all avocado imports from Mexico after an American food inspector in Mexico said they received a death threat. Why that affects shelves: Mexico supplies 80% of the US’s avocados.
- Toast: Avocados approved for export before this week will still be imported to the US, but any additional avocados will stay in Mexico “until further notice.”
- Mexico’s president criticized Biden’s avo ban, saying it’s an attempt to boost sales for American farmers. While California provides 15% of America’s avocados, its capacity is far from meeting demand.
Big-time avo crime… The average American consumes 8 pounds of avocados/year, adding $3B to the Mexican economy in the process. The green gold rush has caught the attention of Mexican cartels looking to diversify their income. For decades, they’ve accessed government databases to extort and kidnap avocado farmers. In 2019, US officials warned that any threats to American food inspectors would result in an avo-import ban. The consequences are spread out:
- Companies: Avocados make up one-tenth of Chipotle’s food costs. Now the fast-food chain says it has only a few weeks’ worth left in stock.
- Consumers: Avocado prices are already up 40% from last year thanks to inflation, and this ban could make them way pricier.
- Contributor: Robinhood