Onion Category Research

In partnership with Nielsen Perishables Group we recently completed a 2013 national research study on the onion category. This included analyzing sales data and reviewing the top five retailers who had the best performance with Vidalia onions compared to the bottom five retailers. Here are some key highlights.

Retailers can order the full report by contacting Susan Waters at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Sweet Onions are the Category Leader

  • Sweet onions represent the largest shares of total onion dollar sales (35%) followed by yellow onions (33%)
  • Red onions represent 18% of category share

While in season, Vidalia onions drive the sweet onion category:

  • Vidalia onions are 62% of sweet onion dollar sales (22% of total onion dollar sales)
  • Their volume growth outpaced both sweet and total onions
  • They drove the growth of sweet onion dollars
Dollars Volume ARP Growth
Onion 13% 4% 9%
Sweet 5% 0% 5%
Vidalia 12% 8% 3%

Top Five Retailers (Best Performance for Sweet Onions)

  • Had higher distribution of Vidalia Onions across all stores (99%) compared to the bottom five retailers
  • Were more focused on Vidalia onions, while bottom retailers were more focused on yellow onions
  • Focused more promotions (and had deeper discounts) on Vidalia onions than bottom retailers; therefore selling more Vidalia volume on promotion and achieving a higher lift on promotion than bottom retailers (average price discount of 18%)
  • Provided more of an assortment of bulk and bagged Vidalia onions especially with the 5 lb and 40 lb box
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Top retailers realized the importance and strength of Vidalia onions as part of their onion program. To have a successful onion (and sweet onion) program, Vidalia onions need to be a focus - widely distributed, competitively priced and promoted often.

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- Nielsen Perishables Group