Avocados to return to supermarkets in 'plentiful supply' as the season kicks in - Foodstuffs

Stock image of a halved avocado
Good news, millennials - the fruit that has become a symbol of a generation is back. Photo credit: Getty Images

Millennials missing their smashed-avo-on-toast, rejoice: the humble avocado is making a triumphant return to supermarkets after a long hiatus from the produce section. 

In a statement on Thursday, Foodstuffs - the co-operative behind Pak'nSave, New World and Four Square - announced that "affordable" avocados will soon be making a smashing comeback in its supermarkets after severe weather and a challenging gap between seasons saw a significant drop in produce. 

"From now, our Pak'nSave, New World and Four Square stores across Aotearoa will start to see avocados in plentiful supply as the season kicks in," said Foodstuffs North Island's merchandise manager of produce, Brigit Corson.

"We hope this comes as a huge relief to many of our customers who've missed their avocados."

The beloved toast-topper had fallen victim to the string of unpredictable weather events that rocked Aotearoa this year, resulting in a shortage that was compounded by a significant gap in the seasonal cycle of production, said Regan Booth, head of domestic avocado sales at Primor, a fresh produce marketer and exporter.

"The combination of the natural cycle of avocado production and unpredictable weather events created a perfect storm that resulted in a shortage between seasons," he explained.

"As new season avocados come onboard, the industry is now shifting gears to get them back on supermarket shelves as soon as possible."

Corson added: "With plenty of new plantings in the last few years supply continues to grow and our customers continue to buy more avocados. It's wonderful they're about to be back on the menu again."

At Pak'nSave, a single green avocado is currently priced at $1.99, with a promotion for three for $5 at the time of writing. A green avocado at New World is $2.29, while a pre-ripened avocado at Countdown will set you back $3.

In February, the tail end of New Zealand's $150 million avocado export season was cut short by torrential rain, with Michael Franks, the chief executive of avocado grower and exporter Seeka, saying it wasn't safe to operate harvesting ladders on extremely waterlogged ground.

"We will probably miss the window to ship to Australia so the remaining fruit will go into the domestic market when we can get to it," Franks said at the time

"I'd say about 5 percent of our export crop won't go offshore, but still the export market returns are much higher than the local market - probably double."