beauty shot of onions

Consumption

Onions represent the third largest fresh vegetable industry in the United States. The U.S. per capita consumption of onions is about 20 pounds per year. This translates to over 450 semi-truck loads of onions used in the United States each day.

  • basket of onions

Leading Onion Uses

According to the National Onion Association, onions are one of the most versatile vegetables. From raw to caramelized and from marinated to roasted, they can be found in a wide range of recipes from breakfast to supper and nearly every ethnic cuisine.

An estimated 20 percent of onions are fresh-cut or processed for retail or foodservice. Whole peeled or diced/sliced onions are commonly sold to consumers at retail for fresh consumption. Peeled, sliced, diced, and chunked onions go directly to the foodservice industry. Commercial food companies also use pre-cut products in prepared food items like salsa, soups, sauces, and breaded appetizers like onion rings.


U.S. Consumption Trends

Per capita onion consumption has risen over 70 percent in the last two decades, from 12.2 pounds per person in 1982 to 20 pounds per person in 2010.

The National Onion Association notes that onion rings, onion blooms, other onion appetizers, caramelized onions, and classic French Onion Soup remain popular restaurant uses for onions. In the past decade, red onions have gained popularity especially in fast causal dining segments on pizza, sandwiches and salads.

Ag Fact: Americans enjoy the lowest per capita food cost in the world. Spending just under ten percent of total personal consumption expenditures on food at home.

United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service

World Consumption Trends

World onion production is estimated at approximately 105 billion pounds each year. The average annual onion consumption calculates to approximately 13.67 pounds of onions per person across the world. Libya has the highest consumption of onions with an astounding average per capita consumption of 66.8 pounds.

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