Excellent quality and increasing demand are the winning sales formula for Sweet Clover Produce’s Red Wing single-center red onions this holiday season, according to Pat Brownfield, sales agent at the Walla Walla, WA, operation.
Mr. Brownfield told The Produce News Nov. 29 that onion movement was gaining momentum as the Christmas holidays approached, and he said that the week leading up to Thanksgiving was one of the best the sales periods company had seen, with approximately 100 loads shipped.
“It’s picking up fast,” Mr. Brownfield said of onion demand. “The reds are moving especially well right now, and we have both excellent quality and good supplies.”
Grown by Grigg & Sons in Quincy, WA, the Red Wings, prized for their high percentage of single centers, started in the late fall, and Mr. Brownfield said that volume will remain strong going into 2012.
“Right now, we have whites, organics, sweets and, of course, yellow hybrids in addition to our Red Wings,” he said.
As the company’s direct-seeded onions, which started shipping in late July and are expected to run through April 2012, continue to move well, the overwintered varieties have gone into the ground, Mr. Brownfield said.
“We are up 50 acres on our overwintered,” Mr. Brownfield said. Walla Walla sweets are in that category, and the mild sweet onion, which is also Washington’s state vegetable, ships from mid-June through Labor Day.
Sweet Clover also sells overwintered reds that are grown in Hermiston, OR.
Pat Brownfield commented on the increase in retail business, saying that the consumer pack reception has been “great.”
All Sweet Clover reds, whites, hybrid yellows, sweet yellows and organics are available in 2-, 3- and 5-pound Carry Fresh bags this season, and Sweet Clover also offers a 25-pound specialty pack carton along with the 40-pound carton.
Each variety and all growers represented by Sweet Clover are third-party-audited. Sheds are Good Agricultural Practices-certified and comply with state and federal food-safety protocols.