Retailers are suffering from a tomato supply shortage, after farmland was damaged by the record-long summer monsoon season and a number of typhoons that hit the country this summer, according to the food industry on Monday.
Local burger chain Lotteria recently posted an announcement on its website and in stores informing customers that it may temporarily stop selling or change ingredients used for burgers that use tomatoes, including the Hanoo Bulgogi Burger, AZ Burger, Wagye Edition II and Hot Crispy Burger.
McDonald’s Korea also put up a similar announcement in some stores that have not been supplied with tomatoes -- offering free drinks instead -- while Burger King said it will add different vegetables and extra sauce to replace the tomatoes in some stores lacking them, until the supply level comes back up.
The supply of tomatoes has been affected by unprecedentedly lengthy downpours around the end of July and in August, as well as consecutive typhoons that damaged farmland here.
According to Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp., tomato prices have spiked. As of Sept. 25, the wholesale price of 10 kilograms of tomatoes was 62,660 won ($53.40), double the 29,908 won of the previous month.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org