NEW DELHI: Many McDonald’s restaurants in India have removed tomatoes from their burgers and wraps due to supply shortages and concerns about the vegetable’s quality, news agency Reuters reported on Friday. Tomato prices in some regions have skyrocketed, with wholesale prices surging 288% in a month, reaching a record high of 140 rupees ($1.7) per kilogram. Retail prices are even higher, leading to reduced consumption by consumers.
Notices posted in two McDonald’s stores in New Delhi explained why they were not using tomatoes in products.
“Despite our best efforts, we are not able to get adequate quantities of tomatoes which pass our stringent quality checks. We are forced to serve you products without tomatoes,” said notices posted in two McDonald’s stores in New Delhi.
Connaught Plaza Restaurants
, the McDonald’s franchisee operating approximately 150 outlets in northern and eastern India, attributed the decision to “temporary” seasonal issues. However, Westlife Foodworld, the McDonald’s franchisee for western and southern India with 357 restaurants, stated that there were no significant tomato-related problems. Only 10% to 15% of their stores were temporarily unable to serve tomatoes due to seasonal factors.
While some McDonald’s stores in Delhi still offer tomato ketchup sachets, a nearby Subway restaurant reported no issues in serving tomatoes.
The government attributes the increase in tomato prices to a lean production season affected by monsoon rains that disrupt transportation and distribution.
Unfavorable weather conditions, including heavy rains in certain growing regions and above-average temperatures last month, have significantly impacted tomato production, leading to a fivefold price increase this year. While tomatoes typically become expensive during the lean production months of June and July, the impact this year has been particularly pronounced.
(With inputs from agencies)