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Holy Guacamole!

Canadians have an increasing appetite for avocados, with demand driven by fads like the ketogenic diet, which favours the fruit for its good fat content.

Data from Statistics Canada shows that Canadian avocado imports by volume increased by more than 255 per cent from 2006 to 2016, and more than 11 per cent from 2015 to 2016. More than 95 per cent of Canadian avocado imports last year came from Mexico.

High demand across North America and poor crop conditions in Mexico and California are pushing prices to a 20-year high, with a case of 48 avocados selling for US$100 in places like Texas, where the fruit is revered. So far, price fluctuations in Canada haven't been as dramatic. According to Agriculture Canada's daily market report, a case of 60 is currently wholesaling for $80, discounter Costco is selling five large avocados for $6.49.

"Our cost has increased about 30 per cent recently," says Sandra Ortega of Kelowna's Ki'bok Mexican Restaurant & Cafe. "We haven't changed any menu items, but it's certainly costing more to make guacamole. The quality of the fruit is down, and the price is certainly up."

"You can still have Mexican cuisine without avocados – most important is the salsa and beans," adds Ortega.



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