At Otra Vez Cantina in downtown Denver, workers use a lot of avocados.
“We order about 15 cases a week," says general manager Kiersten Klaus. "More when we’re expecting to be busy."
In less than a month, however, one of this restaurant’s top products have tripled in price.
“We were going from $300 to $500 a week to $1,500 dollars a week in avocados,” Klaus says.
Klaus says the reasons for the price jump range from the fear of new international tariffs to a bad growing season in Mexico, which is America’s main supplier of avocados.
Down the street at Benny’s Restaurant, they’re experiencing the same avocado economics. General manager Leonardo Armas says the increased cost is now cutting into his bottom line.
“It’s crazy,” he says. “But you got to do what you got to do.”
Armas says his sources south of the border tell him crooks are now trying to cash in on avocados.
“I hear some crazy stories that cartels that will grab little trucks, take over them, steal a bunch of avocados, because they’re worth a lot of money over there,” he says.
Avoprice.com--a Mexican-based produce monitoring group--says some avocado trucks have been hijacked, but that the main reasons for higher prices are low supply and a growing demand.
Both restaurants say they won’t pass this extra cost of avocados on to their customers. Buying avocados on your own, however, isn’t as financially forgiving.
At a popular national grocery chain, who requested we not use its name, avocado prices have gone up 96 percent in the past few weeks. Now, some customers are experiencing a little sticker shock when it comes to buying avocados, saying it’s impacting their shopping.
“Even though I’m addicted to avocados, I won’t buy them until the price comes down,” says shopper Kate Abany.