In 2014, Americans spent about $17,000 per month on avocado toast. By 2017, that number had ballooned to almost $900,000, according to data crunched by the tech company Square, and reported in Time magazine. Now, the millennial-approved treat has inspired something even bigger: The CADO, an immersive pop-up art experience coming to San Diego’s Liberty Station for a three month run this summer.
The CADO is backed by the California Avocado Commission, whose expertise will be transformed into seven interactive installations, all built within 16 shipping containers. The 6,700 square-foot space is meant to be a full-sensory experience, taking visitors on a journey through “green ombre-colored flesh,” simulating the skin-texture of the avacado, and providing examples the treat’s many uses. In an email, the attraction’s creators declined to provide more details on its wonders.
The idea was, naturally, conceived over brunch. The CADO is the brainchild of & boom Unlimited—a creative agency run by sisters Anne Buehner and Mary Carr—who saw the success of experiences like the Museum of Ice Cream and Color Factory, and wanted to bring something similar to San Diego with a locally driven mission.
And why avocados? “Avocados—from roses to pixelated avocados to toast—are already an instagrammable staple in the lives of Millennials,” the duo explained to artnet News, “so we had the notion to unravel what you see…how the fruit is grown, why it provides nutritional value, and why buying California-grown (or as local as possible) is important.”
The creative cachet of the avocado has grown right alongside sales of avocado toast. Last year, artisans began to use the tender flesh as a canvas for intricate carvings and miniature mise-en-scenes, with their stunning results trending on Instagram. There was also a short-lived trend for “avocado proposals.” More alarmingly, a surge of “avocado hand” injuries flooding emergency rooms made headlines around the world. One hopes that the CADO will make room to address this worrying trend.
The CADO doesn’t even open until June, but tickets went on sale last week, and Buehner and Carr say that reservations have sold out for every Saturday through its three-month run. The attraction is desgned to be mobile, but it remains to be seen where this avocado-based experience will travel. Its founders, at least, are confident that it will have you partying like a guac star.
The CADO will open on June 16 in the South Promenade, San Diego. Tickets are $27.
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