Walt Dasher of G&R Farms Talks Sweet Onion Availability and Pricing Consistency
GLENNVILLE, GA - Peel back a great fresh produce department and you will most certainly find quality onions at its center. As a key staple across retail formats and foodservice menus, you can always be sure we have our eye on this category. And, with that, I also keep my eye on Walt Dasher, Vice President of G&R Farms, who joins me to share the extensive onion knowledge only an industry veteran can garner.
“The supply for onions has been up for the past 14-plus months, in part due to more in-home cooking due to COVID,” Walt shares with me. “Onions are an important ingredient starter to just about any dish, and consumers have taken advantage of rediscovering the value of cooking and recipe exploration.”
Currently, G&R Farms has wrapped up its Vidalia® season and will be shipping its final Vidalia onions for another couple of weeks. To keep up with demand, G&R has already started shipping its conventional Peruvian sweets which are making their way to store shelves around the country, and will begin organic sweets in November.
“The sweet onion market during the winter months is typically very stable thanks to contract pricing which helps add pricing consistency for the buyers. This translates to consistent pricing on the shelf to encourage repeat purchases among the consumers,” Walt reveals. “For the Peruvian sweets, this crop has some of the best quality we have seen in 20-plus years, and buyers can expect plenty of jumbo onions with overall consistent sizing and great shelf-quality and appearance throughout the season.”
For buyers looking to tap the G&R Farms’ program, the company’s main distribution footprint is east of the Rocky Mountains at present. G&R works with national, regional, and independent retailers on building their sweet onion programs.
“Sweet onions are one of the main drivers of sales and volume in the onion category at about 30 percent of the category sales,” Walt states. “They are a consumer favorite and versatile for both fresh and cooked applications, creating a need to focus on year-round promotional programs.”
With their eye on the prize and a keen sense for driving sales, G&R Farms is helping to elevate the sweet onion category, one layer at a time.