Walla Walla Onion business update - The Packer

Walla Walla Onion business update

06/06/2012 10:10:00 AM
Jim Offner

Keystone Fruit promo targets consumers

For a fourth year in a row, Greencastle, Pa.-based Keystone Fruit Marketing Inc. and its growers plan to sponsor their own media campaign focused on consumer awareness of Walla Walla sweet onions, said Dan Borer, general manager.

The campaign is adjusted each year, Borer said.

“We’re always revitalizing that campaign,” he said.

Borer declined to comment on specifics about this year’s effort.

“It might be type of media or message we’re trying to send, but in the end, the message is the same,” he said.

Walla Walla Gardeners’ Association adds bags

The Walla Walla, Wash.-based Walla Walla Gardeners’ Association will have Carry-Fresh bags available this season in 2-, 3- and 5-pound units, said Bryon Magnaghi, general manager.

The breathable packs will feature the company’s Gloria label, Magnaghi said.

“We did a little of that last year, but this year we’re trying to expand it,” he said.

Walla Walla River installs equipment

Walla Walla, Wash.-based Walla Walla River Packing & Storage LLC has installed label heads that apply price look-up stickers to onions, said Harry Hamada, manager.

The company also has installed a bagging machine for its 3- and 5-pound vert bags, he said.

“We put it in last year late, so now we’re ready to go,” Hamada said.

The machine gives Walla Walla River Packing & Storage a capacity to pack as many as two truckloads, or nearly 80,000 pounds, of onions per day, Hamada said.

Walla Walla committee plans onion festival

The 28th annual Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival is scheduled for July 14-15 on Main Street in downtown Walla Walla, Wash., said Kathy Fry-Trommald, marketing director with the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Marketing Committee in Walla Walla.

The festival spreads over a two-block area around Walla Walla’s farmers market and attracts more than 100 vendors, Fry-Trommald said.

“I think we have probably close to 10,000 people for the whole weekend. It’s just turning into an awesome celebration of our state vegetable,” she said.

The Walla Walla sweet onion was declared Washington’s state vegetable in 2007, she said.

The festival is an ideal marketing tool, Fry-Trommald said.



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