Consumers still love sweet onions, and Curry & Co. keeps their coffers full with seasonal varieties that fill the bill. “We are in the middle of our Vidalia sweet onion season,” said President Matt Curry. “Our storage quality is exceptional as we stored the best of our late season Vidalia harvest. We’ll have Vidalia onions all the way through August. We feel our product is the best we’ve had all season, and we’re excited about our summer.”
The company is located in Brooks, OR. Curry & Co. is a year-round supplier of red, yellow and white onions as well as domestically grown and imported sweet onions. While there is strong regional pull for its product, the company markets to North American customers throughout the year.
Curry said the company’s Vidalia onion acreage has expanded. “This will be the largest year for Curry & Co.,” he stated. “We started earlier than we ever have and will have onions available longer in the season as well.” Volume is expected to be up 20 percent compared to last year. “We started off with lower volume numbers. But outstanding May weather created huge yields for the entire industry,” he commented. “We have a large, high-quality storage crop that retailers will enjoy.”
Walla Walla sweet onions are a signature commodity in the Pacific Northwest. “Our Walla Walla sweet crop has about the same volume as the previous season, enabling us to supply our key customers who prefer Walla Walla as their summer sweet option,” Curry continued. “Walla Walla sweets started in late June, and we’ve been pleased with the quality. Our Walla Walla crop will be available into August, and it is clearly the best-recognized sweet onion on the West Coast. Summer is a peak time for sweet onions with both the Vidalia onions and Walla Walla onions available. Walla Walla onions really have to fight for shelf space outside of the Pacific Northwest as many different regions either have their own sweet onion or Vidalia onions are being used.”
Curry was asked about the role weather played during this year’s production season. “The Vidalia onion crop had outstanding May weather after a wet April,” he replied. “Yields were up as much as 30-40 percent in some fields due to this outstanding growing season. Walla Walla had a nice spring but did encounter some high heat in late June/early July. The crop is expected to have similar volume numbers to 2012, maybe down slightly. Still plenty of volume for promotions during these summer months.”
A full range of sizes will be available for the company’s customers this season.
On the import side, Curry said, “Our Peruvian onion program is expanding by leaps and bounds in 2013, as we expect to receive more than 200 containers of Peruvian sweet onions in our new partnership with Suncrest Produce Solutions. The expansion of our Peruvian sweet program is the biggest addition to our program.”
The sweet onion category and Curry & Co.’s investment in this market sector continue to grow. “We have formed Sweet Vidalia Farms in Georgia which included new onion ground for planting, a packing facility and warehouse,” Curry said. “We have an office in Statesboro with two full-time sales and marketing people, complementing our corporate office in Brooks, OR. We feel there is still room to educate retailers and consumers on sweet onions and that the category will continue to provide higher profits for retailers on a premium onion. We need to market it correctly and deliver sweet onions each and every time to drive repeat sales.”