An avocado shortage has triggered a spate of thefts in New Zealand...


According to New Zealand Avocado, which represents the country's growers, there have been around 40 large thefts of avocados this year, with up to 350 taken at a time due to an avocado shortage.

Increased demand and a lack of supply following a poor harvest is to blame for the situation and has caused a black market to develop.

Thieves have been stealing the crops at night and selling them to small fruit shops and pop-up stalls.

According to New Zealand Avocado in 2015 an additional 96,000 New Zealand households began purchasing avocados, and local growers have been unable to keep up with the surge in demand.

Sergeant Aaron Fraser from Waihi Police told the Guardian: "These stolen avocados can carry risks.

(Matthew Mead/AP)

"They are unripe, some have been sprayed recently and they may still carry toxins on the skin.

"But with the prices so high at the moment, the potential for profit is a strong inducement for certain individuals."

The popular fruit became so thanks to health bloggers such as Deliciously Ella, and now everyone is hooked. And so, some avo-fans can understand the desperation...