Foodservice remains an elusive market for Texas onion growers.
Michael Davis, co-owner of Tex-Mex Sales LLC, Weslaco, Texas, described his company’s Texas sweet onion foodservice business as steady year to year, but he’d like to see it grow faster.
One hurdle, Davis said, is a preference in many foodservice channels for storage onions from the Pacific Northwest.
“I wish (foodservice sales for Tex-Mex) were more prevalent, but sometimes south Texas gets looked over — don’t ask me why,” he said.
“When Washington and Idaho go through April, it puts a damper on things.”
That could change this season, however, Davis said. With surging demand domestically and overseas, Northwest shippers are running through their storage crops quickly, and may not have their typical April inventories.
“This year could be an exception,” he said.
Glennville, Ga.-based Bland Farms is in the Texas 1015 deal just long enough to take care of its retail customers, but there are others in the Lone Star State who cater to foodservice.
“Some guys in Texas kick off foodservice when the Northwest cleans up,” he said. “But by that time, we’re out of the deal.”