“Temporary unavailability of TOMATOES,” read a notice at a Subway outlet in one of the Delhi airport terminals. The restaurant mentioned that it couldn’t get enough of its supply to pass its “quality checks.”
“We are always committed to serving you the best food with the best ingredients. Despite our best efforts, we are unable to source adequate quantities of tomatoes that pass our strict world-class quality controls. Therefore, we are forced to serve you tomato-free products for now,” he said. “We are working to get the tomato supplies back,” adds the note.
At least two outlets in New Delhi, one in Uttar Pradesh and one in Chennai have stopped adding tomatoes to their dishes.
“It’s very expensive,” said a Subway store clerk.
With the price of tomatoes rising, several households across the country switched to pureeing.
Based on checks of food ordering apps and calls made to stores, many Indian outlets still offer tomatoes.
Everstone Group’s Culinary Brands, which master franchisees some 200 of India’s 800 Subways and also manages the supply chain for all of them, did not respond to a request for comment.
Two weeks ago, McDonald’s removed tomatoes from its burgers as well as wraps in many parts of India, citing quality issues.
On Saturday, tomatoes were retailing at around Rs 168/kg in New Delhi.
The government blames higher tomato prices on a poor growing season, as monsoon rains disrupt transportation and distribution. In recent weeks, he has organized mobile vans to supply tomatoes at cheaper prices.
tomato price it is expected to decrease with increased arrival of new crop from Nasik, Naryangoan and Aurangabad belt in Maharashtra and also from Madhya Pradesh, the Center told Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Global restaurant chains such as Domino’s and KFC are also launching lower-priced products in India, where consumers have cut back on spending due to high inflation. Domino’s is aggressively promoting a 60-cent 7-inch pizza, the brand’s cheapest worldwide, in the country.
– With agency inputs