Bland Farms unveils Gameday Sweetness promotion for fall
Bland Farms has been importing onions from Peru for more than 25 years and is one of the companies on the forefront of packing, distributing, and marketing them.
“We started importing just a few containers in the beginning to supply a few accounts,” said Troy Bland, CEO of the Glennville, GA-based company. “The volume and demand grew exponentially each season for the next few decades, primarily because of consumer demand for sweet onions and that the Peru onions are much better than other choices in the marketplace.”
Today, Bland Farms’ sweet onion acreage is around 6,000 total acres, and the Peruvian onions have become a staple on store shelves and a must-have for retailers.
“They are a very important part of our year-round supply offering of sweet onions,” Bland said. “Peru’s weather and soil is similar to southeast Georgia where Vidalia’s are grown, so we use the same seed variety we use for Vidalia’s to grow our Premium Sweets in Peru. Springtime in Peru is fall here, so we can satisfy customers demand for sweet onions all year long.”
One can’t be successful in the Peruvian onion category without being in Peru, Bland noted.
“We are invested in the product, the land, as well as a team of Bland Farms employees to oversee our operations,” he said. “We are there with our own farms, people and seed. We use the same hands-on approach in Peru and do everything we can to deliver the highest quality Peruvian sweet onions.”
Last season, the category continued to perform well for Bland Farms, as it does every year.
“Demand was very good as well as quality,” Bland said. “We scaled back slightly at the tail end of the program due to extremely high input costs. Ocean freight on the back half of the season was much higher than the first half. We were able to transition to sweet onions from our other growing regions so there were no gaps in our year-round supply.”
Things are looking good for an equally strong season thanks to favorable growing conditions so far.
At Bland Farms, the company is seeing demand for sweet onions continuing to rise.
“This year, we are able to provide our Vidalia sweet onions through the end of September, which helps with consumer demand,” Bland said. “As we continue to invest in innovative technology, we continue to be more efficient and see better quality for our onions. We are also working hard to offer new consumer promotions each season to grow the category and brand awareness.”
These turn-key promotions also allow retailers to customize them to reflect their merchandising style.
Additionally, through Bland Farms’ sweet potato company, Sand Candy, it is able to offer sweet potatoes too, which compliments sweet onions.
“We offer bins with sweet onions and sweet potatoes as a natural cross promotion and to be a one-stop shop for everything sweet,” Bland said. “Impactful, fresh looking displays grab consumers’ attention. Cross-merchandising and recipe themed promotions generate impulse sales.”
This year, Bland Farms is planning a fall promotion called Gameday Sweetness, which features tailgating-themed display bins, posters, new recipe ideas, retailer display contests and social media giveaways.
“It can help retailers build game day displays to appeal to football fans, whether customers are hosting football game day get-togethers in the parking lot or at home,” Bland said. “It can help bring even more traffic through the produce department.”