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Asda says its “no tears” sweet red onion is a UK first

Asda onion


Asda has just started selling what it calls the UK’s first sweet red onion.

The UK retailer said in a press release that a total of about 40 tons of Sweet Reds are now on sale at selected Asda stores.

It claims the onion’s lower pungency levels means less tears while chopping and an odour that doesn’t linger on the breath as long as that from a regular onion. The new bulb is also said to boast a milder, juicier and crunchier flavour.

Asda said the sweet red is the result of work spanning more than 20 years by Bedfordshire Growers farmer Alastair Findlay, who evaluated 400-500 bulbs per season in order to cultivate the new onion.

Asda’s vegetables buyer Andy Wareham said the company is proud to have supported Findlay on the project. “Introducing the UK’s very first sweet red onion is a fantastic achievement.” Wareham said that like in the USA, people in the UK tend to have a sweeter palate “so will appreciate the same tangy flavour, without the strong acidity of some onions.”

“It’s funny to think that prior to the 1990s, there were no red onions grown within the UK. However due to the popularity and versatility of the variety, they now account for 20% of the total onions sold within the UK,” Wareham said.

Findlay is already working on an improved version of the onion to launch next year. “There are so many interesting flavours just waiting to be discovered,” he said.

Read more about Asda on p34 of our latest edition, number 135.