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Avocadocalypse: Rising Prices Threaten Guacamole Production

Would you still eat at Chipotle if they stopped carrying guacamole due to increased avocado prices?
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Avocado
beautifulnaps.com
Climate change has led to severe winter snow storms in the east, droughts in the west, and now it's threatening the guacamole in Chipotle!

According to the restaurant chain's latest annual report, "Increasing weather volatility ... could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients." If those prices get too high, the burrito-slinging fast food chain "may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients." Yes, this news is the pits. (Avocado joke, there!)

It's a big deal because Chipotle uses 70 avocados to make a single batch of guacamole for a total of about 97,000 pounds of avocados every day. If the current drought in California causes the price of avocados to rise by even just one cent per pound, that would be an extra $970 per day that Chipotle has to pay. That's an extra $354,050 a year, just for avocados.

And it wouldn't just be Chipotle and other Mexican restaurants that would feel the pinch, the knock-on effects could be disastrous. If prices continue to rise, the makers of avocado-based facial treatments would be the next industry to be in jeopardy. We're not sure we could — or even would want to go on living in such a bleak future. No more California Salads, either?!

But don't start hoarding those dinosaur-egg-looking things just yet, either. When talking to CNN, a Chipotle spokesperson clarified, "This is nothing more than routine risk factor disclosure. The sky is not falling, I wouldn't read too much into this." (Plus, hoarding the fruit wouldn't do you much good because the average shelf life of an avocado is about seven days, so all you'll be left with is a pile of brown mush, anyway.)

OK, OK, if you really want to start hoarding avocados, there are steps you can take. According to StillTasty.com, all you have to do is puree the flesh, add some lemon juice, then freeze the results. However, even that will only extend their life by about six months. Is that long enough to ride out the avocadocalypse?

What about you guys? How much would a shortage of avocado affect your life? Tell us all about it, in the comments below!


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Media Editor

Jeff Somogyi is the DealNews Media Editor. Since working here he's written deals, features, promotional and newsletter copy, blog posts, as well as scripts for our videos. Follow him on Google+, Twitter at @sommerjam or his blog.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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5 comments
tahu300
I could tell this was a Jeff Somogyi article after like two sentences. He's so punny! (you see what I did there)
nnvan
"that would be an extra $970 per day that Chipotle has to pay. That's an extra $354,050 a year, just for avocados"

Trust me, Chipotle can afford it.
Grampa_cheap_ass
I am going to grow a avocado tree so I will have free avocado. I will go to chipotle & get my burrito or what not to go or even bring my own guacamole XD See I am smart only thing is that it will take awhile. :(
dealnews-Somogyi
@johncrosier
The $0.01/lb was just my example of how quickly the cost could inflate, given even the slightest of price change. If the price does inflate, it could be by way more.

But I agree, I'll always pay a bit extra for guacamole (don't we all do so already? It's never a free add-on, anywhere, right?) ... but within reason! If it's $10 for guac ... well... MAYBE...
johncrosier
Are you kidding me?! They are worried about and extra .01 per pound. The increase for guac may be an extra $970/day but that's divided up amongst all of their restaurants. So do the math, 70 avocados at 1/2 lb each with an increase of .01 per lb equates to about $35 per restaurant. The article implies each store will have to pay an extra $970 per day. I'll pay the extra .50 for a side of guac. Keep it coming Chipolte!
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