By Sally Heathcote
Back in 2016 Millennials were told if they were ever going to be able to save enough for a home deposit, they were going to have to stop eating smashed avocados on toast.
Forward to 2022, with rapidly rising food and petrol prices, and increasing interest rates, eating an avocado might actually be the only way for all of us to all save our own homes.
Although rather than smashing it on toast (let’s not think about the effect on the price of wheat from the Ukrainian war) we might have to smash it on salmon which has also been cheap this week.
So how did we get to $1 avos, down from $3.50 each not so long ago?
Firstly, the low price is here to stay.
The major growers such as Costa Group, Australia’s largest fruit and vegetable producer and wholesaler, are planting fast growing and higher yielding new varieties.
These will come to the market in the next five years, increasing supply by as much as 40%.
But during the heady days of breakfast or mortgage decision $9 avos, many more trees were planted and they are now producing 22 avocadoes for every Australian man, woman and child, according to RaboBank Research.
Of course, the weather has been kind this year also.
So, all the variables have come together, resulting in a national oversupply, putting significant pressure on tray prices and resulting in the average $1 prices we can find in the supermarket.
The way out for producers will be to increase domestic demand through increased marketing and to find new Asian export markets now that our prices are competitive with our South American export competitors, and Japan has recently been opened up despite quarantine reservations in respect to the Queensland fruit fly, which is listed as a quarantine pest.
What to mash it on? Turns out salmon is not really a long term option.
The price has come down by more than a third but from a high and only because with increasing interest rates the first sacrifice of our discretional spending we make is restaurant meals.
The fish markets are temporarily seeking alternative markets to sell their still-expensive catch.
Looks like to survive this period of high inflation we will have to eat smashed avocado on toast. Can we afford a latte?