Shuman Farms Takes On Spring With RealSweet® Vidalia® Onions
REIDSVILLE, GA - Naivety robbed me of the delicious taste of onions as a child. Young and confused, I had no idea why my mother insisted on incorporating them into nearly every meal. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I have now joined the long list of consumers who adore Shuman Farms’ RealSweet® Vidalia® onions. As spring inches closer and closer, backyard cookouts and barbecues return, and RealSweet Vidalias will have retailers collecting more register rings than ever this season.
“Consumers wait eight months for Vidalia onions to hit store shelves, and when they do, they bring a lot of excitement to the produce department,” said President and Chief Executive Officer John Shuman. “We believe that one of the key factors in maintaining excitement for Vidalia onions is to connect customers with the history of this unique item. We know that retailers’ produce teams are the first line of communication with consumers and so, ahead of this season, education is key.”
Shuman Farms’ fields have seen cool weather and 8-9 inches of rain since February 1, 2021, leading to a slightly later harvest this year, with the official start pack/ship date for its Vidalia onions falling on April 19.
“Last season, overall tonnage was down, however, demand was extremely high due to the impact of COVID-19. Shelf-stable, pantry-staple items like sweet onions were in high demand as more people than ever cooked at home,” explained Shuman. “We expect strong demand again this season, albeit not as strong as last year. We are not sure that consumer behavior will be back to normal by Vidalia’s harvest time, and therefore we expect demand to remain above pre-COVID levels. The recent weather and freeze in Texas will also put pressure on sweet onion availability, but to what extent is yet to be known. Overall, I expect a stable market with strong demand.”
Shuman Farms will be offering retailers conventional and organic Vidalia onions in bulk and in bags just in time for grilling season in late April, as the variety pairs perfectly with grilling meats and vegetables like mushrooms and peppers. To complement the bag and bulk offerings, Shuman Farms offers high-graphic secondary display bins that retailers can use to drive these onions into the baskets of more shoppers. These full-color secondary display units can be placed throughout the produce department, as well as in the meat department to offer consumers the perfect add-on item to anything they might be tossing into their carts.
Capitalizing on the excitement and demand for this versatile product is all about merchandising Vidalia onions throughout both the produce and meat departments, highlighting its ability to complement virtually any ingredient, as well as focusing on seasonality and consumer trends.
“Merchandising solutions to meet consumers’ needs are vital for success, and Vidalia onions are an important part of the equation,” Shuman added. "We recommend that retailers create secondary displays throughout the produce department and store that complement items such as bagged salads, peppers, mushrooms, and potatoes, as the versatility and mild flavor of a Vidalia onion allow it to be the perfect ingredient for any dish.”
Buyers, don’t miss out as I did. Stock up on this versatile variety and watch shopper dollars soar.
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