44% Indian households say they are now paying over INR 60/kg for tomato
- ● Community feedback suggests that the average price paid by these 44% households is around INR 75
- ● Prices have crossed INR 100/kg in large or tier 1 cities and have crossed INR 70 in most tier 2 & 3 cities
- ● Data analysis shows households buying via organised retail and ecommerce channels are paying higher prices than via local markets
- ● 34% of Indian households surveyed reported buying tomatoes via organised retail stores and ecommerce channels while 66% reported buying them locally
November 30, 2021, New Delhi: Retail prices of vegetables, especially tomatoes have surged at painstaking rates across states of India as supplies drop due to heavy rain and flash floods, upsetting homemakers to manage their domestic budget at a time when the earnings of many households across the country have been hit due to the ongoing pandemic. In Delhi, for instance, many consumers have reported on LocalCircles that they have paid between INR 70-120/kg for tomatoes in the last 60 days. Prices crossed INR 100/kg in other large cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai and even in tier 2 cities prices are now over INR 70/kg. Reports of 50% price increase in prices of tomatoes have come from households across most states of India in the last 60 days
An unregulated hike in the price of both these vegetables is not new to the country. A survey released by LocalCircles in October 2020 had found that 70% of households are spending 25-100% higher on vegetables, including tomatoes. Experts, citing government data, say that the trade of these perishable vegetables in the retail market goes up at different rates across states due to several factors from disrupted supplies, unchecked trade regulation, and the high prices of diesel that crossed INR 100 in many states before excise duty by Center and VAT rate cut by several State Governments were announced in early November. LocalCircles has regularly been escalating citizen inputs on measures needed to lower the petrol and diesel prices to both Central Government and State Governments.
With many posts and comments received from household consumers across India on the issue of rising tomato prices, to understand how much households are spending on average to purchase a kilogram of tomato, LocalCircles conducted another nationwide survey. It also tried to understand the average amount most households paid this year for buying it as compared to 2020. Further, it tried to understand from households how they generally procure tomatoes and other vegetables. The survey received more than 19,000 responses from citizens across 303 districts of India. Of which, 41% were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2, and 26% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.
44% households say they are paying more than INR 60/kg for tomato
The first question in the survey sought to know how much households paid for tomatoes in their latest purchase. In response, 31% of households said they are paying “INR 50-59 for tomato”, 23% said they are paying “INR 60-69 for tomato”, 21% said they are paying “INR 70 or higher for tomato”, and only 8% said they are paying “INR 30-49 for tomato”. 17% of household representatives couldn’t say. On an aggregate basis, 44% of households said they are paying more than INR 60/Kg for tomato. This question in the survey received 10,025 responses
Data analysis of respondents indicates that price paid by most households in large or tier 1 cities was INR 100/kg while it was on average INR 70/kg in tier 2 & 3 cities. Households in smaller towns and rural locations paid between INR 50-60/kg.
In a similar study conducted by LocalCircles in September 2021, the average retail price highest percentage of households paid per kg of tomato in India was INR 60, which has increased by 25% to INR 75 in 2 months.
Avergae per kg price of tomato in India has risen by 25% in 2 months
Avergae per kg price of tomato in India has risen by 50% in last 1 year
If the data for 2021 is compared to 2020, the price of tomato per kg paid by the highest percentage of households has risen by 50%, from INR 50 in November 2020 to INR 75 in November 2021.
34% of Indian households are buying tomatoes and other vegetables via organised retail and ecommerce while 66% buy them locally
The way Indian households shop and purchase groceries, including vegetables has significantly changed in the last 18 months of the COVID pandemic. Many consumers took to digital channels like eCommerce platforms and websites, coordinating with local stores via Whatsapp and phone and making home deliveries. The following question asked Indian households, “What best describes how you generally procure tomatoes and other vegetables?” In response, 21% said “someone at home purchase it online via an app for home delivery”, and 10% said “someone at home call the local vendor for home delivery”. There were 13% of households saying “someone at home visits the organised retail store and purchases from there,” 25% said “someone at home visits the market to purchase from the local vendors”, 11% said “someone at home visits the weekly local market and purchases there”, and another 15% are “purchasing from the cart vendor who comes in the area”. 5% cited “other ways of procurement”. On an aggregate basis, 34% of Indian households buy tomatoes and other vegetables via organised retail and eCommerce channels while 66% buy them locally. This question in the survey received 9,543 responses.
Data analysis of respondents shows households that bought via organised retail and ecommerce channels paid 10-20% higher prices than those who bought via local markets.
In summary, 44% of Indian households in the survey said they are paying more than INR 60/kg for tomatoes and on average these respondents paid a price of INR 75/kg. The average price paid by the highest percentage of households was INR 60 per kg in September 2021 and INR 50 per kg in November 2020. This indicates how the average Indian household is feeling the pinch with rising tomato prices. The need of the hour for Central and State Governments to consider if they can improve supplies of tomatoes and any other vegetables that are experiencing unusual price increases.
This survey is part of a continuous effort by LocalCircles to bring authorities’ attention to issues of common citizens so actions can be taken to improve the on-ground situation.
The survey received more than 19,000 responses from citizens across 303 districts of India. Of which, 41% were from tier 1, 33% from tier 2, and 26% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.