Morrisons will start selling deformed avocados at a third of the average cost of normally-shaped ones as growing demand and reduced harvests from major producers has pushed up prices in recent weeks.
The supermarket said on Friday that it would start selling the misshapen and superficially blemished fruits for 39p each or £2.40 a kilogramme in the majority of its stores across the UK starting from 15 May until the end of the summer.
Morrisons claims that its offer is the cheapest on the UK market and compares to an average retail price of £1.05 apiece, which is up from 98p last year.
The retailer is marketing the fruits as ‘wonky’ on account of their assorted sizes and superficial skin blemishes – caused by natural wind scaring whilst growing on the tree.
However, their taste, texture and flesh colour will be exactly the same as a normal avocado, Morrisons says.
James Turner, avocado buyer at the supermarket, said that avocados have become one of Britain’s most expensive salad items and that the offer on “wonky” ones was therefore a good opportunity to stock up at a fraction of the price.
“Apart from being odd shapes and with some marks on the outer hard skin, they’re the same as normal avocados.”
Mexico is a major supplier of avocados but shipments from there have fallen in recent weeks and are expected to drop even further due to flooding and droughts, according to data from the Hass Avocado Board.
Yet demand for the highly exportable fruit has never been higher.
Prices are expected to remain high through the summer as a result of a grower’s strike in Mexico, which has already forced retailers and restaurants in the US to take the fruit off their shelves and menus.
The fruit, known for its health properties, is also becoming popular in China with exports from Mexico growing by about 250 per cent a year, from just 154 tonnes in 2012 to more than 25,000 tonnes in 2016, according to the Financial Times.
On Friday, retailer Co-op said it had seen avocado sales grow by 44.5 per cent in 10 years, compared to just 31 per cent for apples.