Courtesy Vidalia Onion Committee
Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia, Ga.-based Vidalia Onion Committee, films an interview with "ABC World News Tonight" June 29 at a Vidalia packinghouse.
Though Stanley said he expects some larger storage capacity packing operations to run later in August, he said the industry would not likely make it to Labor Day (Sept. 6) with Vidalias.
Some packers, Stanley said, may finish by July 15.
On July 2, the USDA reported 40-pound cartons of yellow sweet U.S. No. 1 jumbos from Vidalia were $24-$26, with mediums at $18-$22. Containers of organic mediums in 12 3-pound mesh sacks were $34.
Last year in early July, the USDA reported jumbos selling for $20-22 with mediums at $18-20.
Declining storage supplies are keeping prices high and prices normally strengthen when the onions move into storage, Shuman said.
A June 29 "ABC World News Tonight" report focused on the Vidalia onion promotion and how children are lobbying their parents to buy the onions. The day before that report, a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal included anecdotes of children clamoring for the Shrek onions.
The coverage of the wildly successful promotion comes shortly after the national media reported on a Yale University study that concluded cartoon characters significantly affect childrenâs consumption of junk food. When applied to healthy foods, however, the characters had less of an effect on consumption, according to the study.
Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee, Vidalia, said the produce industry for the last couple of years has been taking advantage of an advertising tactic that other industries have been using for years.
âWhen I have parents, daycare workers and all of these people who have kids or work with kids e-mailing me and telling me their kids are demanding that I purchase these Vidalia onions with Shrek on them, and when we have parents quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying theyâre suddenly buying Vidalia onions like theyâre buying milk, thatâs the proof (that Shrek works),â she said. âThis can positively influence children, particularly now when thereâs such an emphasis on childhood obesity.â
Brannen said the industry has received strong consumer reaction and retailer support.