Commodity: Onions, Sweet



  • 4159


  • 4161

    Texas 1015s

  • 4163

    Walla Walla

  • 4164


  • 4165

    California sweet

  • 4166

    other sweet

Commodity Overview

Sweet onions are a popular item with consumers when they are in season. Make the most of them during spring and summer when they are available in good quantity. They are a fantastic addition to grilled items so make them a centerpiece of grilling displays.


  • Onions offer up a multitude of health benefits. They contain an anti-oxidant called quercetin, which research has shown can help protect people from cataracts, heart disease and cancer. Eating onions may help prevent bone-density loss and prevent osteoporosis. Onions contain vitamin C, which has been shown to boost the immune system and prevent cancer. Sweet onions may provide some protection against developing stomach cancer.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for bulb onions: fat-free, saturated fat-free, sodium-free (must state that bulb onions contain less than 5 mg sodium per 85 g bulb onion), cholesterol-free, low in calories, and a good source of vitamin C.

Sales Strategies

  • Cross-merchandise sweet onions with breading, dips, meat, salad dressing and bagged salad.
  • Sweet onions are available year-round, but are available in the largest quantity during the summer months. Promote them year-round to keep them moving out of your store.
  • Fall: Promote sweet onions as part of tailgate promotions as a great topping for sandwiches and burgers.
  • Winter: Include sweet onions in winter soup displays and in holiday promotions as a great addition to stuffing.
  • Spring: Add sweet onions to salad promotions as their sweet flavor can give salads a new flavor.
  • Summer: Sweet onions are available in larger quantities during the summer, so promote them heavily to summertime grillers.

Dynamic Displays

  • Limit sweet onion displays to one level. Onions will split or bruise from too much weight.
  • Labeling is important as sweet onions look the same as their bolder counterparts. Be sure to clearly label sweet onions and keep them separate from regular yellow onions.
  • Offer both bagged and bulk product to appeal to all types of consumers.
  • Offer a secondary display in the meat department during the summer months when grilling is at its peak.

Food Service

  • Use sweet onions as the base for onion rings and blooming onions.
  • Add sweet onions to salad bars and salads.
  • Include sweet onions in salsa to create a new flavor.
  • Sweet onions are the perfect topping for burgers and sandwiches. They can be grilled or raw.
  • Include sweet onions in soups and stews.

In The Backroom


Sweet onions are shipped in a variety of sizes and weights. Most shippers will pack to request. Boxes and mesh bags are available in 10-, 25- and 40-pound increments. Consumer packs are available in 2-, 3- and 5-pound bags. RPC – 6411, 6416


Bermuda-granex-grano types U.S. No. 1 U.S. Combination U.S. No 2


Temperature: 45 to 55 F (7.2 to 12.7 C) Relative humidity: 70-75% Mist: no Typical shelf life: 30 to 180 days Odor producer (Do not store or transport odor-sensitive items with commodities that produce odors. Onions produce odors that will be absorbed by apples, celery and pears.) Odor-sensitive (Onions will absorb odors produced by apples and pears.) Moderately sensitive to freezing injury (Able to recover from one or two light freezes.) For the short time onions are held at retail, they are usually not refrigerated. They need a dry atmosphere and too much humidity induces decay. Onions draw moisture from vegetables they are stored with, which may also cause decay. Stack onions to provide good air circulation. If in bags, stack in a crisscross manner leaving air space across the middle. Cartons should be stacked.


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