Virtual efforts pay off for Vidalia onions

12/23/2013 05:24:00 PM
Coral Beach

click image to zoomCourtesy Vidalia Onion CommitteeThis retail display earned first-prize status from the Vidalia Onion Committee for Lenn Harnish at Harvey’s Supermarket, Valdosta, Ga. The numbers are in from the 2013 Vidalia Onion Committee’s promotional efforts, and with more than 7.7 million impressions from its Twitter efforts alone, committee officials say the “Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer” campaign was a success.

Susan Waters, executive director of the Vidalia, Ga.-based committee, said the 2013 partnership with other well-known brands proved to be a cross-promotional win.

Other fresh produce entities partnering with the Vidalia Onion Committee were the National Mango board, Avocados from Mexico, the National Watermelon Promotion Board and Stemilt Cherries.

A display contest attracted entries from retailers across the country. First place went to Lenn Harnish from Harvey’s Supermarket, Valdosta, Ga.

The runner up was Matt Faulkner from Harvey’s Supermarket, Lakeland, Ga.

A special website, three Twitter parties, a virtual picnic with food bloggers and Facebook posts drove consumers to download 37,000 digital coupons for Vidalia onions. Other stats from the virtual campaign include:

  •  86,000 unique visitors from May through August to the campaign website;
  •  9,841 referrals from participating food bloggers;
  •  10,132 Tweets and trending in the Top 5 on Twitter;
  •  39,454 Facebook shares; and
  •  3,056 entries for consumer give-aways and contests.

In the consumer contests, Crystal Pye, Ruston, La., won in the decorating and entertainment category for her baby shower, which earned her $1,000 in cash and a $5,000 Sears gift card.

Derick Thurman, Charlotte, N.C., won the salads, sides and desserts category with his garlicky Vidalia onion and tomato cheese tart recipe.

Pamela Paula, Springhill, Fla., won the marinades, sauces and salsas category with her fire-roasted salsa recipe.

Kristine Snyder of Kihei, Hawaii, won the grilling category for her grilled sausage and sweet onion gyros. They each received $1,000.



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