Cost of Veg Thali Up 9% in May, Non-Veg Thali Sees Price Drop

In May, the cost of preparing a vegetarian meal (thali) at home rose by 9% compared to the previous year, according to CRISIL MI&A Research’s monthly report on food plate costs. Conversely, the cost of preparing a non-vegetarian meal (thali) decreased by 7% over the same period. This shift highlights a notable increase in the affordability of non-vegetarian meals relative to vegetarian options compared to a year ago.

The increase in the cost of vegetarian meals primarily stems from significant price hikes in essential vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. Prices for these vegetables surged by 39%, 41%, and 43% year-on-year respectively, largely due to lower production in the previous fiscal year and supply disruptions caused by crop diseases in regions like West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the prices of other major components of vegetarian meals remained relatively stable during this period. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has expressed concerns about further price increases, particularly noting a projected decrease in onion production for the upcoming year.

On the other hand, the cost of non-vegetarian meals benefited from a 16% decline in broiler prices, which account for a significant portion of the total cost. This drop was attributed to a 2% decrease in broiler prices from a high base compared to the previous year.

Overall, these trends underscore the contrasting dynamics in food prices, where vegetarian meal costs have risen steeply due to vegetable price hikes, while non-vegetarian meal costs have decreased, primarily driven by lower broiler prices.

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