Onions represent the third largest fresh vegetable industry in the United States. The U.S. per capita consumption of onions is around 18.3 pounds per year. This translates to approximately 350 semi-truck loads of onions used in the United States each day.
U.S. Consumption Trends
Fresh and storage onion consumption has risen over 60 percent in the last two decades, from 11.4 pounds per person in 1980 to an estimated 18.3 pounds per person in 2000.
Leading Onion Uses
According to the National Onion Association, onions are most often used to enhance flavors in a wide range of recipes - casseroles, pizzas, soups, stews and salads.
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. As a garnish, onions are used in sandwiches, wraps and in classic Mexican cuisine as well. An estimated 15 to 18 percent of onions are processed for use in prepared food items such as salsa, soups, and appetizers. Onions are also processed for fresh consumption. Peeled, sliced, diced and chunked onions go directly to the foodservice industry.
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.