Monthly shipments of avocados to the U.S. set a new record in January 2021 at nearly 320 million pounds, representing a 33% year-over-year increase, according to research from Rabobank. Demand is also growing year-round, with shipments in March 2021 up 20% compared to the same time in 2020.
Per-capita consumption has more than doubled between 2010 and 2020 to hit more than 8.5 pounds per year, and could surpass 11 pounds per person by 2026. Interest in healthy eating is driving demand along with restaurant reopenings and a boost in economic activity as pandemic restrictions lift, but issues around sourcing and sustainable cultivation pose challenges, Rabobank noted.
While Rabobank does not expect prices to hit the same levels as 2019, it anticipates average avocado prices to remain higher than in 2020. The report estimates shipments for 2021 and 2022 to be up 12% compared to the three-year average for 2018 to 2020.