The long-running spell of cold weather has continued to ravage Florida’s tomato crop, leaving consumers paying top dollar at the grocery store and coming up sliceless at fast-food venues.
Box prices for the fruit have nearly quintupled and grocery chains have turned to Mexico to keep tomatoes in stock until the replanted fields start producing again next month.
The prices that consumers will end up paying could double as supplies start drying up in Mexico, said Jesus Noriega, a produce buyer with the Associated Grocers of Florida.
“We’ve had to move to Mexico, and now Mexico is running short itself due to heavy rains,” Noriega said.
Prices of $3.99 per pound are possible for consumers used to $1.99.