Some customers remain loyal to white onions, and Texas has plenty, said Curtis DeBerry, owner of Boerne, Texas-based Progreso Produce.
“Whites have been very active, especially in the last couple of weeks,” he said in mid-January.
“I think the sweet category has taken some of the glory from the whites to a degree, even though Hispanic customers still prefer the whites.”
Red sales, largely to the foodservice sector, have remained fairly consistent, he noted.
Reds and whites also sell more briskly in certain regions than in others, said Tommy Whitlock, salesman with Grasmick South LLC, Pharr, Texas.
“Reds move up in the Northeast,” he said. “Whites move real good where there’s a lot of Hispanic populations. They would rather buy whites than yellows or reds.
“That’s why all the yellows out of Mexico come into the U.S. Very few stay down there. Mexico likes whites. They buy whites over yellows and reds,” Whitlock said.
Bill Burns, owner of Burns Farms Inc., McAllen, Texas, says sales of different varieties often vary.
“Year to year, it’s always different,” Burns said. “The market has generally been very good for reds. And the whites are always iffy. You never know until we’re ready to harvest what the whites are liable to sell at. It’s just a throw of the dice.”
“Supply and demand,” he said. “They have their own markets. Certainly, some people require whites. Some foodservice outfits want white jumbos. The reds, as I understand it, are used a lot just for color in salads, etc.”