BASF has managed to revolutionize the onion segment by developing Sunions, the first variety on the market that does not cause tears. It is a genuine innovation at the varietal level for one of the world's most produced vegetables, which were estimated to be cultivated on almost 5.5 million hectares in 2020, according to FAOSTAT data. These yielded a production of close to 104.5 million tons.
"Sunions is the result of more than three decades of dedicated research work by our breeders, the result of different crosses carried out with traditional development techniques," says Francisco de la Cruz, Account Manager for onions at BASF Spain. "While other onions for storage become more pungent over time, Sunions become sweeter; in fact, the product remains in storage for a certain time before marketing to ensure its characteristics become ideal."
In just a few years after its launch in the United States, Sunions has achieved remarkable growth and gained a place in a wide range of North American retailers. This is also its second in the Spanish market, where it has already attracted several of the country's largest supermarket chains and growers who have opted for the outstanding value offered by this new BASF concept that integrates the entire value chain.
"Sunions is a long-day yellow onion variety whose production window starts in July and ends in September, and is already being produced in several areas of Spain. The product has been on the market for a year and the response for it at national level has been very good. It is already available in various Spanish supermarkets and will soon reach other European supermarkets, including some in the United Kingdom, where it is arriving this week."
"We are very satisfied with the response we are getting from consumers. Sunions is a very versatile onion, as it can be eaten both raw and cooked, and it leaves no one indifferent. To guarantee a positive eating experience, we have conducted several tests to ensure that when you cut into a Sunions onion, you won't get teared up and you will enjoy a really sweet onion. It's really a totally new product and concept.
Collaboration with all partners in the value chain
But Sunions is much more than a variety: it is a consumer brand with the slogan 'No more tears', and a new production and marketing concept.
"This exceptional product has been launched in partnership with our value chain partners and the use of the brand is part of the cooperation agreement. BASF provides the seeds, cultivation recommendations and quality assurance and connects the chain partners 'from field to table'."
"The implementation involves a process that requires a lot of teamwork. We work side by side with growers and packers, from production to the end of the process. We also know that a differentiated, value-added product will always allow the farmers be in a more competitive position against more conventional products," says the professional.
"Our objective is to collaborate closely with our partners in the chain, providing added value. We appreciate the fact that, through this collaboration, we can offer healthy and sustainable food for every consumer."