Posts Tagged “sweet onions”

Study Reveals Vidalia Onions Play An Important Role In The Onion Category

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DSCN3738By Vidalia Onion Committee

Vidalia, GA — Recent sales data research by the Vidalia Onion Committee indicates that sweet onions lead the onion category with the largest dollar sales (35%) and Vidalia onions represent 62% of sweet onion sales. In addition, Vidalia onion sales grew by 12% while all other sweet onions sales grew by only 5%.

The study conducted by the Nielsen Perishables Group, on behalf of the Vidalia Onion Committee, analyzed national sales data over a two year time period (2012-13) and also reviewed retail performance. The results found that Vidalia volume growth at 8% outpaced total onions (4%) during the April 20 – August 17, 2013 season. In addition to the category sales data, the study highlighted key retail opportunities.

“This is exciting news to learn that when in season, Vidalia onions play such a key role in driving the growth of sweet onion sales nationwide,” stated Kevin Hendrix Chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee. “Our previous consumer research reveals that 91% of consumers are familiar with Vidalia onions and they associate them with superior, sweet flavor so it’s great to match the consumers’ perceptions with the actual sales results.”


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Loadings for Apples, Watermelons, Onions and Potatoes

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Apple shipments will remain good through the remainder of the season (late July) as about 36 million bushels of fresh-market apples, mostly in Washington state, remain in storage for shipping.  This is  about  21% more than last year at the same time.

The  21% figure also represents how many more apples remain to be shipped compared to  the 5-year average.  Less than 1 million bushels of apples remain to be hauled from other states besides Washington.

There was more fruit remaining in storages for all major apple varieties to be shipped compared to last year at this time.

Washington state apples – grossing about $6500 to New York City.


While watermelon shipments in Florida got underway in early May, it will be the end of the month before there is decent volume.  Weather and disease factors will reduce Florida melon loading opportunities this season…Both Texas and Arizona are loading watermelons, with good volume not arriving until around the Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).

Sweet Onions

Looking ahead to the Northwest,  Walla Walla, WA growers have planted approximately 600 acres of the Walla Walla sweet onions this year, down  slightly from the 2012 season.   Sweet onion shipments should get going around  mid-June and running through mid-August.  In total, Washington state last year shipped non-storage onions from about 2,500 acres, up slightly from 2011.


Idaho continues trying to shed itself of another mammoth crop of russet potatoes.  The state is averaging nearly 1,700 truckload equivalents of spud shipments weekly, although a significant amount of this is moving by rail….Second heaviest potato shipments are currently coming out of the San Luis Valley of Colorado, where about 575 truckload equivalents are moving each week.

San Luis Valley potatoes – grossing about $1700 to Dallas.

Idaho potatoes – about $5525 to Boston.

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Good Buys: Chilean Grapes, California Strawberries, Sweet Onions

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There’s some really sweet, tasty late season grapes from Chile in your produce department now.  Enjoy them while they last, because the season for these imports are just about over…..Never fear though, grapes from Mexico should start arriving in your supermarkets within the next couple of weeks.  There also will be the first domestic grapes arriving, from the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, CA.  Many retailers I’ve spoken with actually prefer the Mexican grapes over the Coachella grapes.  Keep in mind that a lot of the Mexican grapes are actually owned, or financially backed by grape growers from the U.S. — especially from California.

I’ve been a little disappointed overall with California strawberries thus far.  Some have been better than others, but overall, the quality could be better…..Of course, I have to qualify this since I shop at a small town Wal-Mart, with absolutely not competition.  Wal-Mart’s produce departments have really went down hill in the past several years.

You should be finding those wonderful sweet onions in your stores by now — especially those from Vidalia, GA.  Of course, Texas grows some pretty good sweet onions as well.

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Apples Remain a Good Buy; Sweet Onions Coming

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With four percent more apples remaining in U.S. storages nationally, the fruit should remain a good retail buy well into the summer months.  Washington state provides more apples than all other states combined, so naturally your choices will be more plentiful from the Northwest, especially if you live in the Western half of the country.  No surprise, the most common varieties of apples will be in greatest supply in your supermarket:  red delicious, gala and granny smith.  There should also be decent supplies of fuji and golden delilcious apples.

It’s almost time for domestic sweet onions.  Texas will be providing the first sweet onions in many retail stores, with arrivals by late March.  Expect sweet onions from Vidalia, GA to be availble in limited qualities in some stores by Easter (April 8), with plentiful supplies by mid-April.

Chilean red seedless grapes are reasonably priced now, and have a great sweet taste.  Berry size has improved from a few weeks ago.

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Southeast Shipments

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We are several weeks away from Southern shipments of blueberries as well as blueberry ripesweet onions from Georgia’s Vidalia district.  However, a recent freeze in the Georgia and Northern Florida is bound to reduce volume and loads.  It is a matter of determining how much.

Blueberry shipments normally start in late March and continue until Mid May from Northern Florida, followed by Georgia, which starts  in late May.  Early estimates are all over the board and too unreliable to really get a handle on at this time.

Southeastern Georgia’s famous Vidalia sweet onions are also going to face some losses, but intial inquiries show those losses should not be heavy to the overall shipping season.   It still appears volume could be close to normal once loadings begin around the second week of April and then shipments should start really picking up within a week or two.

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