For details on the 2014 Vidalia onion season, see "Vidalia growers switch from fields to storage onions"

Vidalias are top sweet onion with consumersMarket research shows Vidalia onions help retailers move other sweet onions while accounting for almost two-thirds of all sweet onion sales.

The Vidalia Onion Committee commissioned the Nielsen Perishables Group to analyze national sales data from 2012-13 to determine the impact of Georgia’s trademarked onions on the category. The research shows sweet onions leading the overall onion category, with 35% of dollar sales and Vidalias representing 62% of sweet onion sales.

Retailers can receive free copies of the 62-page research report, which includes statistics on the top five and bottom five retailers and details about onion marketing, said Susan Waters, executive director of the Vidalia Onion committee.

“This study clearly shows that the top retailers realize the importance and strength of Vidalia onions as an integral of their onion program,” Waters said in the release. “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.”

From April 20 through Aug. 15, 2013, there were $147.5 million in sweet onion sales, with $91 million of them being Vidalias, according to the report. The entire onion category logged $425.6 million in sales during that time. Vidalia onion sales increased 12% while sweet onion sales only increased 5% during that period.

Consumers apparently like 10-pound bags of Vidalias because the research showed almost 76% year-to-year volume growth on that pack size, compared to 4% growth for 1-to-3 pound bags and less than 2% growth for 4- and 5-pound bags. Bulk Vidalias had a 6% drop in volumes for the 2013 season, but 40-pound bags saw a 30% increase, according to the research report.