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National Guac Day sees avocado prices down & Chipotle's new recipe

Cortney Moore

Holy guacamole!

That’s what avid shoppers and foodies are saying about today’s National Guacamole Day and the declining price of avocados.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday, the weighted national average price of a Haas avocado was $1.16. Organic variants were $1.71 on average.

Other varied green skin varieties were recorded to be $2.00 or less.

These prices are cheaper than what avocado lovers experienced in July—which had a reported weighted national average of $2.10 per avocado.

David Magaña, vice president and senior analyst at the California-based Rabobank told USA TODAY that the wholesale price for midsized, Mexican avocados has also decreased more than 50 percent from July. The wholesale price for a 25-pound box is currently around $40, which is down from the July spike that put a 25-pound box at $84.25, he added.

“Prices are back to normal levels,” Magaña said. “That’s what we were expecting as the Mexican harvest season is now ramping up and at full production.”

A consumer survey from the online market statistics portal Statista estimates that Americans demanded over 2.4 billion pounds of avocados in 2018.

That increased demand for avocados coupled in with fluctuating prices has created a shortage for the fatty berry. Harold Edwards, president and CEO of produce giant Limoneira, told USA TODAY that the nation’s weekly demand is nearly 60 million pounds.

Just like with any shortage, a change in quality is usually expected. Some Chipotle customers around the country have noticed a plunge in the restaurant chain’s guacamole—which has gone from a vibrant and smooth green to a stringy brown with unripe chunks in some areas.

Many have gone to social media with their complaints seeing as the Denver-based franchise charges extra for the dip.

Twitter user @jim_malcom shared his dissatisfaction in seeing brown guacamole at his local Chipotle. "Yikes, result of avocado shortage or spoiled food," he asked the chain publicly in a direct tweet Sept. 15.

Another user by the name of @MalTullio shared her displeasure with an up-close shot of her delivered guacamole container. "I'm very disappointed," she tweeted to Chipotle on Sept. 11.

A Twitter account named SaveTheGuac was created in August and been aggregating tweets from disgruntled Chipotle customers and their surprising brown guac finds.

"Four weeks ago Chipotle told their supplier to get the cheap avocados. We don't want no sloppy, stringy, hard, bland avocados," the account has written in its Twitter bio at the time of this article.

Chipotle’s Chief Reputation Officer Laurie Schalow addressed customer concerns in a statement to TODAY Food.

"Due to the seasonal transition from Peruvian to Mexican suppliers that happens every year at this time, we are experiencing normal variabilities in our avocados but we can assure our customers that our guac is still being freshly prepared in our restaurants every day," Schalow explained.

According to a report by Forbes, close to 90 percent of avocados come from Mexico. The Latin country is also the largest supplier of agricultural imports to the U.S., according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Last year, the U.S. paid a reported $26 billion in agricultural imports, which included $5.8 billion in fresh fruit, as well as $1.7 billion in processed fruit and vegetables.

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