By: Alex Abad-Santos and Danielle Kurtzleben
It's time to bid farewell to the Vox Lime Index. US lime prices appear to be moving closer to normal, with the average advertised lime price in the US sitting at 30 cents — not far above where it was last year at this time.
Of course, that's just among stores that advertised limes, but the number of stores that are advertising limes is also on the upswing, per USDA data. So what did we learn from covering the lime crisis? That is, aside from the fact that a certain store in Coral Gables, Florida will put you on hold when you ask how much limes cost, and then they will never come back, and they will do it four times in a row, and you will never get a price out of them.
But that's just a tiny lesson. We also learned valuable ways to prepare yourself for the next limepocalypse:
1. Plant a lime tree right now.
Lime trees can take seven years to mature and bear fruit. Plant now (assuming you live in a warm enough climate), and that might give you enough time to prepare for the next time tree diseases and cartels collide in a lime shortage.
2. Consider the lobster.
All of the news out there about the lime shortage may have in fact been good for grocery stores because it primed customers to expect — and accept — limes that cost more than a dollar each. As evidenced by our chart above, some stores haven't lowered their prices yet. If lots of stores are keeping their prices up, limes could go the way of the lobster — a food that sells for far more than it costs to produce, purely becuase people expect to pay more for it.