The marketing season of the Sunions® onions that don’t make you tear-up has just started. Given the success of last year’s trial, the Sunions® are now available everywhere in France thanks to a partnership.

Created by BASF Vegetable Seeds (Nunhems® brand), the Sunions® have been selected as a finalist for the SIVAL 2023 Varietal Innovation Trophy. This variety of yellow onions has the particularity of not inducing tears, while being slightly sweet and very crunchy. Hence the name of the variety, which is a contraction of SUN and (on)IONS, because “consuming Sunions® brings happiness and sun to the kitchen,” explains David Corré, consumer and customer manager France at BASF Vegetable Seeds.

The Sunions® onions in response to consumer expectations
Studies among French consumers have confirmed that the taste and aroma of the Sunions® onions make them a very popular product, whether it is consumed raw or cooked,” explains David Corré. The variety is the result of more than three decades of efforts in conventional breeding. “The launch of the Sunions® clearly meets consumer expectations, especially regarding a major inconvenience, namely the fact that preparing onions often makes you tear up. In a somewhat contradictory trend, consumers want to cook more at home, but they also want this cooking to be made easier. The Sunions® provide a solution, bringing taste to the plate without having to cry while preparing a recipe.” The Sunions® are therefore likely to bring in new consumers, namely those who did not buy onions in order to avoid the tears.

The Sunions® concept has already existed since 2017 in North America, the United States and Canada. In Europe, it was launched in 2020 in Spain, and trials were also launched in late 2021/early 2022 in France, Italy, the UK and Germany. Marketing of the Sunions® was renewed by all 5 European countries, proof of their success / © BASF 

480 tons harvested this year  
Cultivated from a seed variety in the Nunhems® assortment of BASF Vegetable Seeds, the Sunions® were introduced on the French market last year, in partnership with Condichef and via a pilot phase. “The trial phase of early 2022 was carried out on 1 hectare near Clermont Ferrand (central France) and allowed us to sell 40 tons. Following this success, we expanded to 10 hectares this year, for a harvest of 480 tons,” explains Olivier Cassou, sales and marketing manager at Condichef. But this year, the Sunions® onions are also grown in two new regions: the Loire Valley and the Drôme. “The goal is to try this variety in different areas of France in order to ensure the proper development of the lands,” explains David Corré.

The Sunions® onions are produced and marketed in partnership with Condichef / © BASF 

“Carrefour and Grand Frais have renewed their trust in us”
“Our mass retail partners, Carrefour and Grand Frais, have renewed their trust in us this year by selling our products everywhere in France,” explains David Corré. The marketing season has just started. The Sunions® onions arrived in the stores earlier this month, while the previous campaign had started in February. “If this season is a success, we plan to increase our production areas in order to have more volumes available for the consumers.”

For more information:
David Corré, Consumer & Customer Manager