Saturday, March 06, 2010

Anyone find a no-tomato discount?

It may or may not immediately affect your Virgin Mary cocktail, depending on your favorite watering hole’s recipe, or your soup, salad or sauce, but a harsh Southern winter has spoiled an estimated 80% of the Florida tomato crop.

Add to that the February 27 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks that have wreaked havoc in produce-rich Chile and you have a severe tomato shortage.

We’re already seeing a reduction in the amount of tomatoes being put in sandwich shop items and even at full-service restaurants as prices skyrocket and availability shrinks. Those that are paying their suppliers more for tomatoes may well be passing the additional cost along to consumers if the shortage lasts.

When this happened several years ago, the same thing happened as far as consumer-impact. However, I don’t recall a single food purveyor who reduced his/her prices to the public even though in many cases you were getting less of a product.

If you come across a restaurant, sandwich shop or other vendor who is cutting prices to reflect the reduction or absence of tomatoes, let me know.

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