Avocado fans rejoice - the 2015 avocado shortage is over with this season predicted to be the biggest New Zealand has ever seen.

The season officially launched yesterday with the new season's crop already in major retailers, and exports expected to start in September.

A smaller crop size and high demand last season saw avocado prices reach a record high of up to $5 each, sparking a thriving blackmarket for the fruit.

A number of thefts from orchards across New Zealand were also reported as demand outstripped supply, with several being hit multiple times.


Avocado Industry Council chief executive Jen Scoular said consumers should expect a bumper season and affordable prices.

 NZ Avocado Growers' Association chief executive Jen Scoular /supplied
NZ Avocado Growers' Association chief executive Jen Scoular /supplied

"We're certainly looking forward to a large volume crop and the markets are looking good, so I think we're in a very good position in terms of the opportunity," Scoular said. "Our estimates are that its the biggest crop we've ever had in New Zealand."

The industry body was predicting there would be 7.6 million 5.5kg trays for the 2016/17 season, up from 4.1 million last season.

Figures released earlier this year by New Zealand Avocado - the growers' association and industry council - showed 90,000 more Kiwi households were buying the fruit, compared to previous seasons.

The lucrative export market had also been expanding with local growers unable to keep up with the surge in demand last season.

Scoular said avocados tended to fruit biennially and with two low seasons, this year was likely to be a big one.

"This year's supposed to be very good but that's also because the trees are in really good health," Scoular said.

"The value of the industry has grown considerably and that means growers are able to invest back into the orchards. I think that's all part of the trees having such a large crop on them this year."

Scoular said with early fruit from the season coming through consumers were happy that supply had started to roll out and avocados were available at affordable prices.

Avocado sales

• Volume 2014-15: 7.1m trays

• Volume 2015-16: 4.1m trays

• Forecast 2016-17: 7.6m trays