High Onion Prices to Continue


In a week where the local media is covering gasoline price increases, proposed MTA fare hikes, and looming rent hikes, none of them have bothered to mention the one inflation item that is on all our minds: WTF is going on with the crazy prices on white onions?!? I don’t know about you, but I can’t cook without my beloved white onions. Pico de gallo, salsa verde, salsa roja, salsa, arroz mejicano, cebolla y cilantro, onion jam, cebolla con sal; it all requires white onions, and lots of them. So when I recently noticed that a bag at Superior was about to cost me $14 at the going rate of $1.99 a lb and since b.la readers want fresh reporting, I decided to put on my huaraches and do a bit of gumshoe work. Err, make that tireshoe. Follow along for the pungent details!

At first I thought the high prices might be due to some sinister doings of the anti-immigrant mob, but after my usual United Statesian breakfast of onion rings and coffee I decided nobody could be that spiteful. Besides, onions are one of the top 5 vegetables in the US: you all love onions, you really do! Then I found this alarming bit of news from the California Farm Bureau Federation:

Produce experts say dry onion prices are expected to remain high in retail stores until at least June. Supplies from the Pacific Northwest are shrinking and quality is reported only as fair. Prices will remain high until harvest begins in the San Joaquin Valley. Onions from the California desert are behind scheduled and harvest isn’t expected to begin until May. Weather has caused onion crop quality problems in all growing regions, including Texas where the crop was severely damaged.

Oh rats. And pretty much everywhere in my Northeast LA neighborhood, the price seems to be around $1.99 /lb, way up from the usual two or three lbs for a buck.


My usual stop, Big Saver, is anything but: $1.99 a pound.


Vons has them for $1.99, though they put them on spy card special at $1.49, screw that! Besides, everyone knows onions from the fancy markets are always heavier then the cheapo places. I think it has something to do with water retention, but check this..


One onion weighs a whole pound? Que, me ves cara de menso? Let’s move on.


Rancho Market has them at $1.79, still high.


Bi-Rite has them for $1.69, maybe cuz they’re all moldy and black. Buy? Wrong!


And finally, the winner for lowest priced non-rotting onions is Produce Market! $1.49! Still too rich for my blood, maybe I’ll just dabble with them yellow onions on the left, guess I gotta cut back on the luxury staples!


Yup, it’s just called Produce Market, or at least that’s what the sign says. 2612 N. Broadway if you want to make the trek for some not-so-great savings.

So what’s the price of onions in your neighborhood? What about on the fancy Westside? Or are most of you not part of the cooking class and could care less?

PS. Seems the LA times finds it fit to cover the cost of onions in India yet ignores the plight of onion lovers in its own backyard!

18 thoughts on “High Onion Prices to Continue”

  1. El Chavo is by far the best b.la poster. Love this and will report back on onion prices in my ‘hood!

  2. Yeah here on the W. side I noticed they’re up too. I do most of my grocery shopping at the 99 cents store. They stopped carrying onions, my staple, like a month and a half ago. Now I have to buy them at rip-off grocers. Where are the canned onions when we need them???

  3. At the 99, you can find a dozen onion bulbs for 99. They’re mixed in with the tulip bulbs. Unfortunately, they take a while to grow.

  4. I can’t recall the exact price, but even the Supermercado Bestway on the corner near my house (usually a produce bargain) has higher onion prices than usual. The one thing I have noticed lately is that the quality of onions everywhere has sucked all year, no matter who I’m buying from.

  5. Thanx for clearing this up. I was wondering WTF was going on. I was thinking that it was a terrorist plot … I must have an onion slice with my lox, bagel & cream cheese!

  6. Methinks I’ll be planting some. Although I prefer red onions. I’m a little weird and eat ’em raw. MMmmmmmonions.

    Maybe this is why I don’t get many dates. :\

  7. Just got home from Walmart here in Amarillo, Texas. They’re onions are priced at .98/lb.. Thank God for Walmart.

  8. Even without a trip I can recommend Super King (San Fernando near the 2 Freeway). Their produce is plentiful, fresh, and CHEAP.

    If you can’t find a decent price at Super King you’re out of luck.

  9. 98 cents in Texas, where the “crop was severely damaged”? Are you sure they were white onions, or are you going to steer me wrong like Lucinda? ;)

    Thanks for reminding me of Super King Ruth, I should check there. Besides, my Tequila and hookah smoke stash is low!

  10. Onion Prices have gone crazy in my supermarket in NY too. They buy Green Giant onions from California. First it cost $1.99 for a 3 pound bag, then they upped it to $2.99 now it’s $3.49 this week. I’m going to my green grocer who is cheaper in prices.

  11. Ha, Ruth wins! The white onions at the Super King on San Fernando Rd. are going for a mere $.69 a lb! And they’re even in pretty good shape. Not so pretty that you want to take them out on a date, but good enough to chop into some food!

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