It looks like ripe avocados won't be back in stores until 2019.
Due to stalled negotiations between avocado farmers and the companies that pack and ship them around the world, the United States is facing a widespread avocado shortage that will cause price hikes in the upcoming weeks—and a steep decline in both supply and quality.
According to this Bloomberg report, there's a price dispute between avocado farmers in Mexico (the largest avocado exporter in the world) and an organization of packers and exporters known as APEAM. Because of a deadlock in negotiations, farmers have reportedly stopped picking avocados altogether, and avocado imports in the United States have slowly but steadily halted over the last month.
Americans aren't the only shoppers who will be affected by this—two other top avocado importers, Canada and Japan, are also reportedly facing substantial shortages, Bloomberg reports.
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Some shoppers may already be feeling the effects: Earlier this month Food Lion, a grocery chain in the mid-Atlantic seaboard, raised prices across all stores, according to The Packer. Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing for California-based Calavo Growers Inc., says it could be a long time before supermarkets and restaurants are able to source the fleshy green fruit at normal prices once more.
"The first avocados will reach the border this weekend. Many, many more will be needed to get supplies back to normal,” he told The Packer. “This will take weeks. Many avocados will not be ripened until after Thanksgiving.”
While you're grabbing Thanksgiving essentials this week, pick up a few avocados—it might be the last time you see your produce bin fully stocked for a while. In the meantime, here are five other in-season vegetables that are cheaper than ever to tide you over until this shortage has ended.