Burger King in India has temporarily taken tomatoes off their list, joining the ranks of fast food chains hit by the rising tomato prices. Just last month, McDonald’s declared a temporary halt on tomatoes in their burgers. The reason? Quality and supply issues.
Now, Burger King states that adding tomatoes isn’t possible. On their website, they’ve assured customers of the fruit’s return. They’ve attributed the absence to “unpredictable conditions” affecting tomato crops’ quality and supply.
Is this change across all outlets? It remains unclear.
This move follows the Indian central bank’s inflation forecast hike. It’s now set at 5.4%, up from 5.1%. The bank attributes this to rising food prices in India. They highlighted the surge in vegetable prices, especially tomatoes, as a significant concern. They believe this will impact the overall inflation rate.
But there’s more. Last week, Subway in India made headlines too. They’re now charging 30 rupees for cheese slices in most sandwiches.
Tomatoes are central to Indian cuisine. But they’re becoming hard to obtain for many. Why? Prices have shot up by over 400% recently. Factors like heat waves and heavy rainfalls are to blame. A kilogram of tomatoes in New Delhi now costs 107 rupees. That’s a massive increase from January’s 27 rupees.
Jocelyn Boiteau, from the Tata-Cornell Institute, weighs in. She points to climate change as a significant contributor to these high prices. Only a few regions in southern India are tomato-friendly during summer. So, climate issues there affect national tomato supplies.
Sadly, India experienced both heavy rain and intense heat this summer. These events emphasize India’s vulnerability to the ongoing climate crisis.