With Super Bowl LVI less than a week away, football fans around the country are stocking up on snacks and drinks for Sunday’s big game. In fact, each year Americans eat more than 112 million pounds of snacks during the Super Bowl, with the most popular items being potato chips, pretzels, and tortilla chips. Although these items will be available and affordable as ever this year, economists at Wells Fargo estimate that the cost of fresh items like salsa and guacamole could increase by as much as 8 to 14 percent.
For instance, food wholesalers must now spend more than $26 to import a case of Hass avocados from Mexico, the most expensive price for the fruit in more than 20 years. While the cost of avocados tends to increase each year around the Super Bowl as people stock up on guac, this year’s price bump is more significant than in the past, most likely due to supply chain issues and rising inflation. “These higher prices will test how strong the demand for avocados really is,” said financial analyst David Magana.
Still, consumers will see no shortage of avocados on store shelves given that Mexico harvested an enormous amount in 2021. This increase in supply is the result of years of growing demand for avocados in the U.S., with American consumption of the fruit doubling over the last decade to nine pounds per-capita. As a result, prices could remain high in the long term if people continue to spend big on avocados in the lead up to the big game. “If we continue to see higher prices despite better availability in the next couple of months, that’ll tell us the demand is there — not just for Super Bowl weekend, but year-round,” said Magana.
- Do you think consumers will avoid purchasing avocados for Super Bowl Sunday due to price increases? Why or why not?
- Why could strong sales of avocados in the run-up to the Super Bowl lead to permanent price increases for the fruit?
Sources: Allison Nicole Smith, “Guacamole Prices Soar Before Super Bowl Amid Supply Chain Challenges,” Bloomberg, February 4, 2022; “Snack Sales Spike During Super Bowl Week,” Business Wire, February 4, 2022; Art Raymond, “Snack Superstars of Super Bowl LVI Will Take Bigger Bite of Big Game Budgets,” Deseret News, February 6, 2022.