Avocado demand at an all-time high
BUNDABERG avocado growers are on a roll with Australia’s cafe-loving hordes shrugging off $20 price tags for smashed-avo on toast.
Cafegoers have chewed through the country’s supplies of the fruit, forcing local sellers to tap New Zealand growers for extra stocks.
Once accused as a culprit locking a generation of millennials out of home ownership, our avocado love affair has grown almost 10 per cent in the past 12 months with the average Australian now consuming 3.5kg of avocado in a single year.
Demand for the ubiquitous smashed avo on toast and new favourites including guacamole and the more daring choc-avo mousse, has exhausted local stocks, fuelling expectations Australia could import 20,000 tonnes to meet demand over summer.
Avocado consumption is unlikely to slow. Local consumption has more than doubled in the past decade to 86,000 tonnes a year.
At this rate of growth, some pundits say Australians are on track to rival their counterparts in Mexico where the average person puts away 10kg a year and bowls of the chopped fruit adorn every cafe table, as ubiquitous as pots of chilli, salt and pepper.
Supply will increase only when new plantations in Western Australia start yielding fruit in two to three years and treble the local volumes, according to Avolution Avocadoes director Anthony Allen.
He says the fruit has cornered the market for food that is health-conscious and seemingly decadent.
“The world is moving into a healthier phase and its one of the few things that are good for you but its yum,” Mr Allen said. “There’s not a lot of foods that tick many boxes.”
Cafe owners are paying up to $30 a tray for avocadoes, last November the price hit $100.