Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Announces Official April 22 Pack Date for 2019 Vidalia Onion Season
ATLANTA, GA - A true treasure of American ag is coming back to market this spring—Vidalia onions are back as of April 22. This week the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Vidalia Onion Committee announced that the pack date for the 2019 Vidalia Onion® season is 8 a.m. on Monday, April 22.
“With tremendous consideration after consultation with the Vidalia Advisory Panel, industry experts from the University of Georgia and crop assessments from the Georgia Federal State Inspection Service, I am pleased to announce April 22 as this year’s pack date for the official state vegetable of Georgia, the Vidalia onion,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, in a press release. “For more than two decades, Georgia’s Vidalia onion trademark has garnered global recognition, reaffirming our trust in the Vidalia onions being among the highest-quality in the food industry.”
Available for a limited time each year and hand-cultivated in 20 southeastern Georgia counties by 80 registered growers, Vidalia onions are prized by chefs, produce departments, and laypeople for their sweet, mild flavor.
The Vidalia Onion pack date is, the Vidalia Onion Committee notes, a rite of spring for fans of the vegetable. Each year, the Vidalia Onion Advisory Panel, state agricultural scientists, and the Department of Agriculture determine the pack date based on soil and weather conditions in South Georgia during the growing season to help ensure only the highest-quality onions are shipped to stores across the country. In 2018, 9,356.26 acres of Vidalia onions were hand-planted to be harvested in the forthcoming weeks, according to Troy Bland, chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee.
And this year, the committee is launching “The Sweet Life”, a new marketing campaign targeting grocery shoppers and aimed at reaching home cooks across the country.
“The Sweet Life builds on our very successful marketing effort over the last two years that helped to raise the profile of the Vidalia onion among food connoisseurs, particularly millennials who set many of today’s consumer trends,” said Bland. “Now we plan to focus on broader category of consumers who like to cook, entertain, and use onions. The goal is to elevate the brand as a signifier of good taste and living well.”
Vidalia onions represent nearly 40 percent of the sweet onion market in the country and are sold in every state.
The Vidalia trademark is owned by the state of Georgia because of the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986. To be considered a Vidalia, the vegetables must be cultivated in the South Georgia soil from a distinctive Granex seed and packed and sold after the official pack date each year, resulting in only the highest-quality onions reaching Vidalia fans each season.
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