SAN ANTONIO — The National Onion Association drew a capacity crowd to its annual convention.

About 200 people attended the Greeley, Colo.-based organization’s annual meeting Dec. 2-5.

That was 20% to 25% higher attendance than last year’s convention, said Wayne Mininger, president of the association.

National Onion Association meeting draws strong crowd

“I think people realize it’s good to get together and talk face to face,” Mininger said. “In this day and age with all that’s going on in the business people need to have these opportunities to get together.”

Kim Reddin, director of industry and public relations for the association, discussed its plans for promotions for the next year, including a satellite TV tour with cookbook authors, new photography for storage onions, a new recipe cookbook and downloadable materials for educators.

Reddin also unveiled the association’s new consumer logo.

The logo features graphics of a yellow, red and white onion and the tagline, “Layers of Flavor.” Reddin said members can use it on consumer bags to help boost traffic to the association’s Web site.

Reddin also plans to boost the association’s Web presence through her persona, “The Onion Lady.”

Through a blog and social networking Web sites, Reddin plans to address common issues and questions consumers have about onions, share recipes and tips and direct traffic to the association’s Web site.

Storage report

Members shared the latest storage report for each region on the final day of the convention.

As of Dec. 1, nationwide onion storage was reported at 43.5 million 50-pound equivalents, down from 63 million on Nov. 1.

The largest reporting area, Idaho-Eastern Oregon, reported 11.8 million 50-pound equivalents in storage.

Kay Riley, general manager of Nyssa, Ore.-based Snake River Produce, and NOA president, said despite the lower-than-average supplies in storage, the market is not strong.

“There seems to be a chronic lack of demand,” he said. “In some ways the economy is worse than last year.”