Shuman said sweet onions are doing well as the fastest growing segment in the onion category but what he calls the “rise of imposter onions” erodes the category through consumer confusion and dissatisfaction.
“Research has shows that consumers consistently include onions on their shopping lists, and it’s the versatility of sweet onions that keeps them coming back for more,” Shuman said. “The sweet flavor profile lends a unique flavor to both raw and cooked recipes.”
Shuman ships sweet onions year-round, and said the Peruvian season bode well for the company with good supplies and outstanding quality.
“We project supplies to remain steady into the first of the new year,” Shuman said.
It’s the economy
DeBruyn said the poor onion markets this year are indicative of more than just cyclical ups and downs.
“What we’re seeing right now is a broader-scale issue with the economy,” DeBruyn said. “We have heard some hope with the economy lately, but for the last year the news has been all doom and gloom. If this was cyclical, by now it should have rebounded a little, but it hasn’t.”
Even as people are eating at home more, there’s still a perception that fresh fruits and vegetables — including onions — are more expensive than other food.
“There’s a lot of shopping the inside aisles of the grocery store,” DeBruyn said.
Out of the Columbia Basin, Wash., and Umatilla Basin, Ore.
- yellow hybrid 50-pound sacks colossal mostly $6-7.50, jumbo and medium $5-5.50;
- white 50-pound sacks jumbo mostly $10, medium $7-8;
- red globe-type 25-pound sacks jumbo $4-5, medium $4.