Overpriced Tomatoes Disappear From Fast Food Menus In India

McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King: “Indian tomatoes are worth their weight in gold, we can’t afford that.” Prices for tomatoes, one of the main ingredients in traditional Indian cuisine, rose to 200 rupees (2.10 euros) per kilo.

Burger King became the third fast food restaurant chain in India, after McDonald’s and Subway, to eliminate tomatoes from its menu. Salads and hamburgers would cost Indian consumers overstate amounts after a sharp rise in the price of tomatoes.

In a statement quoted by Reuters, Burger King that operates over 400 fast food restaurants in India justified the radical decision with a touch of humor, “Even tomatoes need a vacation… we can’t add tomatoes to our meals,” read customer ads posted at Burger King locations in India.

However, a spokesman for Burger King India guaranteed “the return of tomatoes to the menu as soon as possible.”

The price of tomatoes continues to rise across India and has reached a staggering 200 rupees per kilo (€2.10) in retail markets, which is four times the “normal” price. Protests have started in some Indian cities after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced that the average price per kilo of tomatoes in bulk was just 98 rupees in July.

Deliveries of tomatoes and other popular vegetables, from carrots to onions, have been suspended in many Indian states due to monsoon rains.

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that to combat the crisis, the government has decided to import tomatoes from neighboring Nepal and also promised that the sale of tomatoes at lower prices will be organized throughout the country. According to the latest inflation data, prices for vegetables and herbs in India increased by 37% compared to last year.

The monsoon rains destroyed the crop but failed to stop the competition. According to local media reports, the rival chain Domino’s Pizza has lowered prices to attract customers fleeing McDonald’s, Subway, and Burger King, by offering them a pizza for just 0.55 euros – the world’s cheapest pizza.