Vidalia Onion Committee Announces Pack Date for Spring Season
- by Kayla Webb
ATLANTA, GA - Spring has sprung, and it’s now time for the long-awaited Vidalia® onion season to begin! This year, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Vidalia Onion Committee have set April 16, 2020, as the official pack date for America’s favorite sweet onion.
“Along with the Vidalia Onion Committee, I am pleased to announce April 16, 2020, as the official pack date for Vidalia onions,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “As the keeper of the official trademark for our state vegetable, we are proud of the reputation Vidalia onions have earned around the world by both renowned chefs and home cooks.”
Hand-cultivated by 60 registered growers in 20 southeastern Georgia counties, the unique onion's shipping date is an annual rite of spring because it is only available for a short period of time each year.
According to a press release, the pack date is determined by soil and weather conditions exhibited during the growing season, which help ensure only the highest quality Vidalia onions are shipped to stores. The Vidalia Onion Committee voted unanimously for the April 16 date.
“We are going to have a strong harvest this year,” said Aries Haygood, the newly elected Chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee, who noted that 9,400 acres of Vidalia onions were planted for the season. The Vidalia Onion Committee is continuing its “Sweet Life” marketing campaign launched last year to reach home cooks across the country who enjoy cooking and entertaining. “The campaign has enabled us to elevate our brand with broad groups of consumers who value good taste and living well.”
Vidalia onions represent about 40 percent of the sweet onion market in the country and are sold in every state. The Vidalia trademark is owned by the state of Georgia because of the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986. To be considered a Vidalia onion, the vegetables must be cultivated in the South Georgia soil from a distinctive Granex seed and packed and sold on or after the official pack date each year, resulting in only the highest-quality onions reaching Vidalia fans each season.
Act quickly, retailers, because these onions are sure to fly off of the shelf!