Are avocados going the way of the dinosaurs? Probably not. But guacamole (which is the number one reason most of us eat avocados) may soon be nothing more than a memory, at least for fans of Chipotle Mexican Grill fans. According to recent speculation on CNN, global climate change and California’s current drought may make it impossible for the chain’s to serve up that delicious (and healthy!) green goo.
Here’s what’s happening:
- In its annual report, Chipotle cited global climate change—and its impact on produce pricing—as a potential snag in its current business model. If prices on avocados and other key ingredients go up, the chain has said it might have to “temporarily suspend” its offering of guacamole and some salsas.
- Why the worry? Avocados, of course, are a pretty specialized product—one which is largely grown in California. If the state’s current drought makes avocados more scare—they’ll become more expensive. A cost increase of, say, 25-cents per avocado won’t break the average consumer’s budget, but Chipotle says it currently uses around 97,000 pounds of avocados a day. That could mean a price increase of tens of thousands of dollars a day—just for avocados!
- Say it isn’t so! Okay. It isn’t so: A company representative says that a similar scare occurred in 2011 but that the company was able to keep serving its standard menu. He also said that the chance of guacamole dropping off the Chipotle menu any time soon was was unlikely.
- Maybe, but other sources say it’s only a matter of time. A 2006 study from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory suggests that California agriculture production may plummet by as much as 40% by the middle of the century due to climate change. The going rate for a scoop of the green stuff is around $1.50 right now. With these projections, the same small serving of guacamole could soon cost more than the rest of your Burrito Bowl!
- For more on the California drought, and it’s affect on our food supply, we suggest this article, from Mother Jones.
March 5th, 2014