The price of avocado in Shanghai
has been a shocker of late. De-
mand globally is outstripping
supply and prices are rising.
At blt supermarket this week, a
package of three avocados was priced
at over 113 yuan (US$18), or almost 38
At city’super, avocado prices reached
32 yuan each last Friday and then
dropped to 29 yuan, that compares
with 19 yuan each in prior months.
Qiang Kun Fruit Mart on Yuyuan
Road is charging 15 yuan for one
avocado, down from 18 yuan last week,
a vendor there said.
When buying avocados, you have to
be careful not to pick fruit that is over-
ripe as it will be turning brown inside.
Also avoid fruit that is abnormally
hard as it was probably harvested too
early and will never ripen properly.
The best avocados are firm, with only
a slight hint of softness when gently
Of course, you can’t do that when
buying online, where prices are a little cheaper. Kate & Kimi has the lowest
price at 12 yuan each for an unripe
avocado, while Tablelife is selling two
for 36 yuan.
California, a major avocado producer, is suffering a prolonged drought.
About 95 percent of its crop goes to
the US market. With production down,
suppliers are looking to Mexico and
Peru to fill orders, which has driven
The news from Mexico hasn’t been
positive for avocados. According to a
www.vocativ.com story entitled “Blood
Avocados: The Dark Side of Your
Guacamole,” a cartel calling itself the
Knights Templar has infiltrated the
billion-dollar avocado industry, forcing
prices up. China imports most of its avocados from Mexico, New Zealand and
Australia. This year, Peruvian avocados
have also gained access to the Chinese
The avocado is a latecomer to the
Chinese palate. Thirty years ago, there
wasn’t an avocado to be found on the
mainland. But with the opening of the
Chinese economy, Western tastes came
along with investment and technology.
The avocado is the star of Western
brunch menus. A simple avocado
spread onto a piece of toast is not only
tasty but also colorful. Guacamole
dip, made from avocado, is popular in Mexican cuisine and trendy social
In the last four years, imports of
avocado into China have increased
126-fold, and the average price has
dropped from about 20 yuan in 2008.
More Chinese consumers have developed a taste for the fruit, which can be used in salads, pasta dishes or simply grilled on skewers. Many people simply
prefer to eat the fruit, with a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt, by
spooning it out of the rind.
Avocados are also considered good
skin moisturizers. Some shampoos
and facial creams advertise avocado
content. Some mothers choose to feed
infants the fruit because it is easy to
digest and is packed with nutrients.
Also called the “alligator pear” by
the Chinese, the avocado is native to Mexico and Central America. It’s
packed with healthy unsaturated fat.