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After increasing nearly 5% in 2016, bulb onion sales dropped slightly in 2017. Sales fell 2%, but volume increased 2.1%. Per-pound retail price dropped more than 3%.

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Fresh Trends Data

This versitile veggie was the second most popular vegetable in Fresh Trends 2018, climbing from No. 3 last year and No. 4 in Fresh Trends 2016. It was the fourth most popular item overal this year. More than half of all consumers bought onions in the past 12 months.

The likelihood of an onion purchase increased according to income and age. The oldest shoppers surveyed (age 59 and older) comprised the stand-out category for onion purchases — more than eight in 10 of this group opted for onions, making them the group most likely to buy. Consumers age 18-39 were among the least likely to buy overall (along with Asian shoppers). Southern shoppers comprised the region most likely to buy onions; Caucasian consumers were the most likely ethnic group to buy.

Most shoppers seek out conventionally grown onions. However, one-quarter of buyers said they purchased organic onions at least some of the time, up from 18% last year. One in 10 always bought organic onions.

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