“This much-coveted, much-written-about, much-craved-for vegetable is now almost as expensive as caviar, diamonds and Donald Trump’s wig!” That’s how Groupon describes the onion on its website.
The e-commerce firm specialising in deals for bargain hunters, has come up with an offer on onions at knock-down rates in a marketing blitz that aims at striking a chord with Indian consumers.
This is the first deal involving onions for the online portal, which essentially offers discounts to shoppers on restaurant deals, fashion accessories and movie tickets.
In the onion offer that started Thursday, customers can get one kilogram by paying just Rs 9, roughly about one-eighth the prevailing retail price in Delhi.
The catch being that each registered user would get only one kg of onion, and expect the product to reach you within 10 days of order.
The Chicago-based deal-of-the-day website that had entered India by acquiring e-commerce portal SoSasta in January 2011, said it plans to sell 21,000 kilogram onions in the next seven days across 78 cities in the country.
“Just last week we were discussing how expensive vegetables are and then we thought let’s run a deal on onions. We wanted a crazy choice...for fun. Last we saw such price was in 1999,” Ankur Warikoo, CEO, Groupon India, said. Analysts see the move by the firm as a marketing stunt that aims at getting a large number of internet users to register on the site, which is a precondition.
The deal comes at a time when onion prices are ruling anywhere in the range of Rs 60-80 per kg at retail outlets.
CB Holkar, vice-chairman of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation, said that Delhi alone consumes 100 trucks of onions every day, with 10 tonnes of onions in each truck.
“Selling onion at Rs 9 a kg is as good as giving it for free. It is not affordable and is just an advertising strategy,” he said.