Harvested sweet onions in a field in Peru. ( Courtesy Keystone Fruit Co. )

Keystone Fruit Marketing, which first started importing its Mayan Sweets branded onions from Peru in the mid-’90s, has a number of promotions planned through the Peruvian season.

With an emphasis on teaching consumers the versatility of onions, from tailgating dishes to holiday meals and Crock-Pot cooking, Keystone Fruit has plenty of fall and winter recipe ideas.

In-store demos with Keystone Marketing’s Chef Dave Munson will allow shoppers to participate in cooking lessons, with new recipes from the company. Munson will emphasize the quality and nutrition attributes of Keystone Fruit’s branded Mayan Sweets, as well as the flavor and different attributes of sweet onions compared to storage onions.

“Promotions that target the consumer, displaying tips on how to use onions, to include recipes when possible — 30% of consumers say they would buy and eat more fruits and vegetables if they knew how to use them,” said Mary Kamer, president of Keystone Fruit.

The company works with retailers to consider different display options, noting that Peru is an important part of a year-round supply of sweet onions.

“Due to an increased demand of year-round sweet onions, many customers have found it advantageous to carry bulk or loose sweet onions as well as consumer bags of medium sweet onions,” Kamer said. “Multi-size strategies, as well as end-cap displays, value-added product offerings — offer consumers multiple buy options and ensure sales lift.”

Greencastle, Pa.-based Keystone Fruit, founded in 1977, merged with Progressive Produce in 2017, and now is a division of Progressive, Los Angeles.

Keystone Fruit markets Vidalia onions from Georgia, Walla Walla sweets from Washington, Texas 1015 and sweet onions from Oregon. To complete a year-round program, the company imports from Peru, Honduras, Mexico and Chile.

Kamer said the company has research and development projects in South and Central American countries and in Europe and elsewhere.

“Future availability of authentic sweet onions from these emerging markets is yet to be determined,” he said.

 
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