Rising tomato prices are not just pinching the common citizen but also started to hurt large companies, with fast food chain McDonald’s India-North and East stating that it has decided to halt the use of tomatoes in its burgers.
The price of a kilo of tomatoes crossed Rs 160 per kg in some areas.
McDonald’s operates through different franchises in the country. In a statement on Friday, a company spokesperson for the North and East franchise said that the step is being taken owing to seasonal issues.
The burger chain uses stringent quality checks to source its tomatoes, which are currently unavailable, the spokesperson said.
In a statement posted on storefronts, the company said: ‘Despite our best efforts we are not able to get adequate quantities of tomatoes which pass our world-class stringent quality checks.’
To be sure the company said it was working to get its tomato supply back up.
A kilo of tomato costs as follows in the top eight cities:
Delhi Rs 120
Mumbai Rs 108
Chennai Rs 117
Kolkata Rs 152
Bengaluru Rs 105
Hyderabad Rs 98
Ahmedabad Rs 157
Surat Rs 40
Pune Rs 51
This is not the first time that McDonald’s has removed tomatoes from its burgers. In 2016, the burger chain decided to halt the fruit’s use in its offerings citing quality concerns.
In 2016, tomato prices had risen 17 per cent on a year-on-year basis around June, with e-retailer BigBasket listing the commodity at Rs 69 per kg, according to a Times of India report.
At that time, McDonald’s burgers were served with onions and lettuce, but bereft of tomatoes.
The company sources 3,500-4,000 kg of tomato on a daily basis from approved vendors in Karnataka, Punjab, and Maharashtra, according to a company post from 2017.
The tomatoes reach McDonald’s within 1-2 days of harvest, according to the company.
Last year, the company rationed tomatoes in its burgers offered in the UK owing to price rise, the Mirror reported.
McDonald’s halved the tomato slices to one in each Big Tasty and Big Tasty with Bacon burger, according to the report.
The company cited the same reason for inadequate supplies in the UK for the cutback of tomato slices in a burger.
The burger chain also ran out of milkshakes and bottled drinks in the UK citing supply issues in 2021,