view current print edition







Peri & Sons back to year-round organic onions

As a grower of both conventional and organic onions, Peri & Sons Farms is a major player in the category, growing in both Nevada and California.

“It’s very enticing for customers because they can buy both from us,” said Mindy VanVleck, sales for the Yerington, NV-based company. “Organics sometimes aren’t a big mover percentage-wise or volume-wise, but it’s a huge deal to be able to load organics along with your conventional products so you don’t have to worry about trucks picking up different items. You may have 20 cases of organic onions and 10 cases of another organic item. We make things convenient.”

3lb-medium-ORG-Combo-ORG-PSF-Innotech-FRONTA three-pound of organic onions from Peri & Sons.Among its wide-range of organic offerings available are bulk packages, consumer packages and individually-wrapped organic onions, which is very popular among traditional retailers.

Leaders from the company will soon descend on the Organic Produce Summit, talking about its wide range of availability of organic onions.

“In the industry as a whole, I think a hot topic of conversation will be opportunities we are all faced with in regards to transportation,” VanVleck said. “There’s a large shortage of trucks, so the fact that trucks can do a one-pick is even more attractive to customers.”

The show is important, she noted, because more and more retailers are offering organics, and as more consumers demand to get everything they need in a convenient way, more retailers are trying to create a solid organic experience.

“To be able to offer that alongside all of the other items does make a lot of sense,” she said.

“For that reason, retailers are attending the Summit because they do want to partner with someone who can provide that organic piece for their program.”

Peri & Sons is very heavy in its organics offerings in Nevada, a season which runs September through March, and the last couple of years, it has also grown there May through June. This resulted in a gap in July and August.

This year, the company was able to grow organic onions again in the San Joaquin Valley, so it will be able to once again offer its selection throughout the summer and provide them year-round.

“We had to take that out of production for a while when California was going through the drought,” VanVleck said. “Now that we’re back with enough water, we’re able to bring back that organic piece and we’re really excited about that because it had been a couple of years since we could offer that.”

Early signs out of California have been positive, with crops coming out a little earlier than anticipated. And with Nevada having experienced a warm spring so far, that crop is expected to be ahead of schedule as well.

When it comes to packaging, Peri & Sons is in the early stages of refreshing the entire brand, and that will include its organic onions. This is a change that people will see upcoming in the next 12 months. The change will involve the graphics on the labels, as well as different packaging styles and materials.

“We’re looking to go with 100-percent recyclable materials, which is very exciting,” VanVleck said.

She added that the current individually-wrapped organic onions continue to shine for retailers, as it keeps the organic identity intact, and consumers gravitate towards that. Peri & Sons will tout that feature at the Summit.

“We’ll also be featuring some of our other value-added items, like our three-variety mix in a bag, which is a random mix of yellow, red and white organic onions, which is another great item to give an endcap just a little something different,” VanVleck said.