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Avocado Lovers Rejoice: 2018 Could Be Your Year

If you go through the archives of the Food Institute Blog, you’ll see we cover a lot of ground, but even we have our old standbys. Amazon, mergers, food trends and the like tend to garner a lot of coverage in this medium, and today I will return to another old favorite: avocados.

For much of last year, I opined on rising prices and lowered volume. For those who don’t know, avocado groves have alternating years of productivity. While the trees always produce fruit, they often produce more in Year A than Year B. Last year was squarely in Year B territory, so many believed the 2018 harvest would provide a higher volume.

The 2018 California avocado crop was forecast at 374.6 million-lbs., a nearly two-fold increase from 2017, according to the California Avocado Commission (CAC). The forecast was issued after an extensive review of California avocado groves following wind and fire damage.

“The CAC 2018 pre-season crop estimate of 374.6 million pounds of California avocados means there will be solid volume for retailers and foodservice operators to work with,” said Tom Bellamore, California Avocado Commission president. “Despite some harsh blows from Mother Nature, California avocado growers are resilient, and the industry is expecting a good year.”

In the meantime, however, avocado producers in California, Mexico and Chile are expected to ship about 50.5 million-lbs. of the product week of Feb. 4, according to the Hass Avocado Board. Producers in the three regions and the Dominican Republic shipped about 47.0 million-lbs. the week of Jan. 28.

It will take some time to see how the market fully develops, but make no mistake: the horizon for avocados in 2018 looks much more enticing than the image seen in 2017.