“We plan to target the Fourth of July, and Labor Day as well. We’re expecting to promote New Mexico sweet onions in various pack sizes,” he said.
Sherise Jones, marketing director for the Parma, Idaho-based Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee/USA Onions, said grilling promotions are a great way to leverage Labor Day promotions.
“We encourage outdoor grilling and the utilization of outdoor onion recipes,” Jones said, mentioning the committee’s alliance with Weber Stephen Products Co.
Jones said no specific promotions are in place yet but that it’s important for retailers to remember that grilling and onions go hand in hand with the holidays.
Medium onions may see more attention this year, while jumbos may see higher prices, according to Matt Curry, president of Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., which markets onions for Hermiston, Ore.-based River Point Farms, among others.
“This year’s crops seem to be peaking on medium-sized onions versus jumbos, so we feel you’ll see more mediums in the marketplace and a higher-than-normal premium price on jumbo onions,” Curry said.
He believes the smaller profile crop is mostly a result of weather conditions so far this spring.
Curry believes that by taking some chances and making a few changes, such as trying bins if you only have bags or taking advantage of regional trends and multiple bag size options, retailers can see strong results.
“If you give your onion program some TLC, you can drive sales. Change up your program a little bit here and there and you’ll see an increase in sales,” he said.
Kim Reddin, director of public relations for the Greeley, Colo.-based National Onion Association agreed.
“There are some items that are just not as commonly put on ads, but if retailers can work with suppliers to put onions on ad more frequently, it will make a difference,” she said.
Reddin said that even promoting off-season onions can be helpful.
“There’s definitely a lift in sales when onions are placed on ad, even if they are just on ad for the regular price,” she said.
Retailers need to remember that stable items can’t be overlooked.
“Just because it’s a staple doesn’t mean they don’t serve the department when on ad,” Reddin said.