It’s no big news that avocado consumption
in the U.S. – mainly in the news in connection with the millennial generation and its presumed love for avocado toast – has been increasing. But looking at the numbers a little more closely, millennials might only be partly to blame for the rise of avocado sales.
While avocados are considered to contain healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, they are also a crop that requires an above average amount of water to be grown. Avocados are also often transported long ways to where they are consumed, driving up their carbon footprint.
These sticking points have made avocado consumption a guilty pleasure for some – but who exactly? As figures by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest,
avocado consumption in the U.S. increased most during two time periods. Between 2000 and 2005 it grew from 543 million pounds to 938 million pounds, an increase of almost 73 percent. Millennials, who are individuals who grew up or were born around the turn of the millennium, were likely not the ones driving these purchasing decisions.
Between 2010 and 2015 avocado sales got another boost and increased from 1,317 million pounds to 2,240 million pounds – another 70 percent increase. Here it is more probable that a large chunk of these avocados ended up on toast. While it is true that smaller numbers can show high increases more quickly, millennials’ parents must have shopped for a good number of avocados as well. As the Washington Post reports,
import restrictions for avocados from Mexico were gradually lifted starting in the late 1990s, causing the first wave of increased consumption.
More recently, the increase of avocado sales in the U.S. has slowed. If sales growth remains stable at the current rate, sales would only increase by 15 percent between 2015 and 2020.