During last year's Coronavirus lockdowns, Australians turned to onions to boost their immune systems. Hort Innovation data showed an 8.5 per cent increase in volume from December 2019 to December 2020. This was ahead of the increase in total vegetable consumption (up 7.1 per cent).
It also showed that demand was now returning to pre-COVID levels. The report said: "At the end of 2020, sales figures reflect the decrease in panic buying as shopping behaviours return to normal.”
The Hort Innovation Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook 2019/20 reported that, for the year ending June 2020, 265,162 tonnes of onions were produced, valued at $244 million with 9 per cent sent to processing. The wholesale value of the fresh supply was $262 million, with $192 million distributed into retail and $70.4 million into food service.
According to an article on northqueenslandregister.com.au¸ a total of 75 per cent of Australian households purchased onions, buying an average of 744 gr of onions per shopping trip. The supply per capita was 8.2 kg, based on the volume supplied.