A Tomato Shortage Could Make Pizza, Sauce, and Salsa More Expensive

Some California farmers can't produce enough tomatoes to "ketchup" for retail demand due to severe weather. Americans may soon feel the pitch

The Golden State produces the most canned tomatoes in the world, stocking pizza, salsa, and pasta sauce, but one of the worst droughts in over a millennium

“We need rain,” Mike Montna, head of the California Tomato Growers Association, told Bloomberg. "We are running out of inventory to meet market demand.

Processing tomatoes, cultivated in California, are used to make sauces, pastes, and soups because they're resilient and not juicy. In recent

years, growers have witnessed rising tomato production costs due to state groundwater limitations and high labor, fuel, and fertilizer costs, lowering yields.

Since 2015, California's processed tomato supply has declined from 14 million tons to 11 million tons in 2021, according to the USDA. The region's drought

"There are simply not enough acres of processing tomatoes being planted this year to ensure that everybody gets their full supply,"

Ingomar Packing Co. manager R. Greg Pruett told Bloomberg. "The water is either too expensive or just not available at any cost."

Pruett noted that tomato paste prices have risen 80% for retailers since last year and that those who haven't secured their supply by now