Lime Shortage Impacts Cinco De Mayo Celebrations

Many may have to find a suitable substitute for margaritas this Cinco de Mayo.

A U.S. lime shortage has the potential to ruin Cinco de Mayo for some as Mexican suppliers of the fruit have increased prices substantially.

Because of an apparent crop disease, suppliers of the fruit in Mexico have upped the price of limes in the U.S. making it about 81% higher than last year.

Cinco de Mayo is a long-standing celebration for many in the U.S., with lime-centric margaritas being a major part of the festivities.  With the lime shortage currently occurring, many are worried that limes may be too expensive for restaurants.

Dos Caminos, a Mexican food staple with locations all over the U.S. including Fort Lauderdale, understands the business difficulties of this price increase.   Along with other well-known Mexican restaurants, Dos Caminos could pay anything up to $100 a crate for limes; a major jump from early 2014’s $35 per crate price.

“We are hoping that enough people walk in through the door to help us make up for the squeeze in margins,” Elias Mandilaras, the manager of a Dos Caminos in midtown Manhattan told Bloomberg.

Dos Caminos, along with other well-known Mexican restaurants, could pay anything up to $100 a crate for limes; a major jump from early 2014’s $35 per crate price.

This price increase gives a picture of overall increase in fresh-fruit prices.  It’s estimated that fresh-fruit prices could increase 3.5% to 4.5% this year as a drought in California impacts produce ranging from lettuce to tomatoes, Bloomberg reported.

However, the majority of Cinco de Mayo celebrators shouldn’t worry too much as only about 30% of Mexican restaurants/bars in the U.S. create their margaritas with fresh fruit, such as limes, from scratch.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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