Burger King, one of India’s leading fast food chains, has announced the removal of tomatoes from its menu across its outlets in the country. The decision was driven by the surge in tomato prices due to weather conditions adversely affecting the quality and supply of the crop.

Burger King follows in the footsteps of McDonald’s, as the second major fast food chain in India to take such a step.

Experts within the agricultural and culinary sectors have attributed the current shortage in the tomato market to the crop damage inflicted by erratic weather patterns. Unpredictable rainfall, extreme temperatures, and other climate-related factors led to compromised yields, directly impacting the overall supply chain. Major players within the food industry are grappling with the tough decision to reevaluate their menu offerings.

India’s food inflation, reaching its highest levels since January 2020, has elicited reactions from international chains as well. Subway, the renowned American sandwich franchise, has also joined the list of fast food establishments adjusting to the challenging economic climate.

Subway’s adjustments have not stopped at tomatoes. The chain has also ceased offering free cheese slices, a staple accompaniment to their sandwiches for years.

The ongoing tomato turmoil in India has taken a significant toll on the country’s culinary scene. Essential food prices have experienced an alarming surge in recent months, with the price of tomatoes soaring to a staggering 250 rupees per kilo in July. This steep escalation has been attributed to the disruptions triggered by monsoon rains, which have wreaked havoc on crops and supply chains, contributing to an overall atmosphere of uncertainty.

The tomato price surge, however, has witnessed a mild decline since its peak. Responding to the supply crisis, India has initiated the import of tomatoes from Nepal, providing some respite to the markets. These imported tomatoes, now available at 50 rupees per kilo in Delhi, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, offer a temporary solution to the pressing tomato shortage that has been troubling both consumers and the food industry at large.

Burger King launched a dedicated section on its Indian website titled “Why are there no tomatoes in my burgers?”

McDonald’s, another stalwart in the Indian fast food realm, also took the step of removing tomatoes from most of its outlets in northern and eastern India. However, unlike Burger King’s primary motivation being the surge in tomato prices, McDonald’s cited quality concerns as the driving factor behind their decision.