By Jacob Engels
I was at the Amway Center for an Orlando Magic game last month and came across a tasty new condiment called Onion Crunch, which is made of roasted onions. Simply put, it was the best condiment I had tried in a while. In a journey to learn more about the condiment, I reached out to the folks over at Onion Crunch for an interview.
Last week we caught up with movie producer, green energy sage, and serial entrepreneur Nick Loeb. Nick, who is engaged to Modern Family star Sofia Vergara called us from California to discuss his new venture.
(For more about Nick, click here)
Where did the idea for Onion Crunch come from?
When I was a child I spent some time living in Netherlands and they would put what they called roasted onions on burgers, hot dogs, etc. Ever since then, I have always wanted to bring that roasted onion idea to America. At the urging of friends and family who I had introduced to the roasted onions, we started putting together the idea that ended up becoming Onion Crunch. Off and on for 7 years we played around with it and recently we were able to really perfect the idea and launch onion crunch.
What is Onion Crunch? (what is it made with, how is it made, etc)
Onion Crunch is made from Holland Dutch Onions that are grown on site where we manufacture Onion Crunch in the Netherlands. There are no additives or preservatives, its all natural. We don’t use artificial flavoring. Onion Crunch is also a kosher and certified vegan product and I think that makes it very versatile. Making onion crunch is pretty simple. First, we dice up the fresh Holland onions, powder them with flower, fry them for a few minutes and then we dry and package them.
Where did you first introduced Onion Crunch in the US and how has it expanded since?
Since our launch, we have really focused on New York City. We wanted to start educating people about Onion Crunch and felt that the food stands and hot dog stands in NYC would be a great place to start. Now, almost every hot dog stand, food truck, food stand, and most local restaurant have Onion Crunch. People are really enjoying it. More locally here in Florida, Onion Crunch is in some Sedanos, Bravo supermarkets, and in Wal Mart.
Publix did offer to stock Onion Crunch, but we turned them down. They wanted to put us in the canned vegetable aisle and that really didn’t make sense to us. We are currently in 21,000 stores nationwide and every single one has our product in the condiments aisle, where it belongs. Florida is my home, so it’s disappointing that I can’t have Onion Crunch in my home states most recognized and respected grocery store.
Does Onion Crunch come in different flavors?
We just launched several new flavors (Chipolte, Bacon, and BBQ) about a month ago and they are not yet in full distribution. We decided to develop the Bacon and BBQ flavors because we had a lot of customers and vendors come to us saying that they would really like to see an Onion Crunch Bacon and an Onion Crunch BBQ.
Our other flavor, however, was little bit more tricky. We knew that we needed a “spicy” flavor but were very torn between using chipolte or jalapeno. We ended up selecting the chipolte flavor because we felt that its taste was more complex and wasn’t just “spicy”. We did get some requests for a garlic flavored Onion Crunch, but as you can imagine that was pretty overpowering and we decided against that one.
Is there a particular meal or dish that you think pairs particularly well with Onion Crunch?
I really enjoy putting Onion Crunch on my pizza, just as you would put crushed red peppers or Parmesan cheese. Mashed potatoes is another dish that performs very well with Onion Crunch, baked potatoes too.
Where can we get Onion Crunch in Florida? Can we order online?
You can find Onion Crunch at the Amway Center which is home to the Orlando Magic, Raymond James Stadium where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play, at Sun Life Stadium where the Miami Dolphins play. Supermarket wise, we can be found in some Sedanos, Bravo Supermarkets, and Wal Mart as well. Soon, we will be pitching Whole Foods and hope to have Onion Crunch in their stores as well.
We also have partnered with Burger Fi and Nathan’s Famous. They are developing their own Onion Crunch hotdogs and Onion Crunch burgers. In the next month or so we will be hiring someone to handle distribution locally here in Florida, so we hope to be in a lot of the local restaurants soon.
And yes, you can order Onion Crunch online at onioncrunch.com
You are engaged to Modern Family star Sofia Vergara. Has Sofia been supportive of Onion Crunch?
Sofia has been very helpful. She was one of the main people who pushed me to get Onion Crunch off the ground. In addition to being my chief taste tester, she has helped us re-design the Onion Crunch character, is on twitter all the time sharing about it, and has invested financially in the company as well. I’m very grateful to have such a wonderful women involved in my life.
P.S. – Nick has agreed to send a case to the Post so we can hold a taste testing with our contributors and anyone in East Orlando that would like to give it a try. We will update you when it arrives.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other businesses and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Japser, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org