Avocados have hit near-record low prices in Hastings as the "perfect storm" creates a significant oversupply in the North Island.
Hastings Pak 'n Save was today selling the green-fleshed fruit for 9c each for one day only - meaning you could buy more than 10,000,000 of them for the same price as the average house in New Zealand.
To keep them from selling out too quickly, the supermarket imposed a limit of six per person.
Foodstuffs New Zealand head of corporate affairs Antoinette Laird said Pak 'n Save Hastings wanted to inspire some "early long-weekend cheer".
The local ownership and operation of Pak 'n Save stores means community-specific savings were possible, Laird said.
Nine-cent avocados fall into a wider pattern of the Hastings supermarket selling household items for unbelievably cheap prices.
Tomatoes were available at Pak 'n Save Hastings for 9c a kilo earlier in the year.
A loss-leader strategy means shoppers are enticed in-store with irresistible bargains that generate a low-margin profit. This is because once an individual is through the supermarket door, they are more likely to spend on higher-margin items.
At a national level, the dramatic drop in the price of avocados is the result of the decrease in export to Australia, which is experiencing an oversupply of locally grown avocados.
Covid-19 has also lessened demand for the fruit from restaurants and cafes, creating what Bay of Plenty grower Hugh Moore described as the "perfect storm" in the avocado season.
Moore told RNZ last week that Covid-19-related freight delays and higher shipping costs have also meant that sending New Zealand avocados to markets in Asia has become more difficult.
As a result, returns for growers are about a third of what they were this time last year.
"The wholesale market is flooded. Everyone's going to run at a loss this year," Moore said.
New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular told RNZ last week that this would be one of the most difficult seasons for avocado growers in the past 10 years.
However, Scoular remained positive that although New Zealand Avocado's market research showed that about 30 per cent of New Zealanders don't buy avocados, this decrease in price might change their minds.
"We're certainly working on increasing the demand for avocados in the New Zealand market this season."