Recent sales data research by the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) indicates that sweet onions lead the onion category with the largest dollar sales (35%) and Vidalia onions represent 62% of sweet onion sales. In addition, Vidalia onion sales grew by 12% while all other sweet onions sales grew by only 5%.
The study conducted by the Nielsen Perishables Group, on behalf of the Vidalia Onion Committee, analyzed national sales data over a two year time period (2012-13) and also reviewed retail performance. The results found that Vidalia volume growth at 8% outpaced total onions (4%) during the April 20 – August 17, 2013 season. In addition to the category sales data, the study highlighted key retail opportunities.
“This is exciting news to learn that when in season, Vidalia onions play such a key role in driving the growth of sweet onion sales nationwide,” says Kevin Hendrix, chairman, VOC. “Our previous consumer research reveals that 91% of consumers are familiar with Vidalia onions and they associate them with superior, sweet flavor so it’s great to match the consumers’ perceptions with the actual sales results.”
The study also compared the results of the top five U.S. retailers (best sales performance for Vidalia onions) with the bottom five retailers and a top line analysis reveals that the top performing retailers were successful for the following reasons:
- had higher distribution of Vidalia Onions across all stores (99%) compared to the bottom performing retailers;
- were more focused on Vidalia onions, while bottom retailers were more focused on yellow onions;
- focused more promotions on Vidalia onions than bottom retailers, therefore selling more Vidalia volume on promotion and achieving a higher lift on promotion than bottom retailers; and
- provided more of an assortment of bulk and bagged Vidalia onions especially with the 5-pound bag and 40-pound box.
“This study clearly shows that the top retailers realize the importance and strength of Vidalia onions as an integral of their onion program,” says Susan Waters, executive director, VOC. “This research is part of our continued effort to connect with retailers and offer them important tools and resources to grow their Vidalia Onion sales. Retailers can find the highlights from this study along with other tips and resources on our newly revamped retailer section of our web site at VidaliaOnion.org.”