The Indian brand of Groupon, an e-commerce company offering daily deals for consumers, has partnered with Delhi-based wholesaler to sell onions at a reduced price, the Financial Times reports.
The average price of onions in India has trebled in the past two months. Groupon offered them for Rs9 (US$0.13) per kg, well under the average retail price of Rs80 (US$1.21) per kg.
Prices have reached up to Rs100 (US$1.53) in recent weeks.
"It is a very simple deal. We are a deal site and in current situation where onions prices are skyrocketing we are offering onions at Rs9 per kg,” Groupon India's CEO Ankur Warikoo, was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. “The onions will be home delivered to buyers.”
Purchases were capped at one kg per consumer.
Surging onion prices have caused protests, with India set to start importing them for the first time in two years to ease financial pressure on consumers for such a staple item.
The issue is so major it is anticipated to play a role in the general elections expected by May next year.
Groupon India’s marketing campaign portrayed onions as an exclusive item, comparing them to caviar and diamonds, while offering them at around 10 per cent of the retail price.
On Thursday 5 September, Groupon India sold 3,000 kilograms of onions in just 44 minutes, causing the website to crash. More than 8,000 kilograms were purchased when Groupon continued the sale on Friday before they sold out.
Warikoo dubbed the response “overwhelming” and “absolutely fantastic”.