THE NETHERLANDS, Sept. 26, 2012 -- Sensing a gap in the market for a domestic tearless onion, Monsanto set out to develop a mild onion that could compete with imports when the domestic season wrapped up. After several years of development and testing, the result of that work, the EverMild onion, is set to enter its third year on the market.
Typical sweet onions grown in the United States are available during spring and summer months, so consumers who prefer mild onions with less tear-inducing qualities go for imports during fall and winter. That was an opportunity that Monsanto saw and took advantage of, said Account Lead for Monsanto, Candace Wilson.
“We wanted alternatives to imports,” she said. “With Evermild, we can provide U.S. consumers with a domestic alternative from October through March.” The benefits of having a domestic supply are many, including lower shipping costs that are passed onto consumers as well as less time between when produce is picked and when it reaches consumers. Additionally, Wilson said, the area where EverMild onions are grown, and which greatly contributes to their taste and consistency of quality, is much closer to American consumers than where imported onions are grown; and that comes through in the taste.
“EverMild onions are grown in the Pacific Northwest,” she said. “We tested lots of regions, and we found that the Pacific Northwest is the best place to grow them because we can maintain sweetness and mild characteristics of the onion there.” Soil which is low in sulfur gives the onions their distinctive taste, and this year looks to be another good year in terms of quality.
“Harvest is just about wrapped up right now, and from what we've heard from our growers at River Point Farms in Oregon, we're going to have some of the most mild onions we've ever had,” said Wilson. “Now, we're gearing up for the selling season, and it looks like we'll have a great supply of EverMild onions to fulfill consumer needs for mild onions.”