(May 14, 3:55 p.m.) Onions have the advantage of fitting in nicely with a lot of other cooking ingredients, onion marketers say.

That makes for plenty of cross-promotional activities.

“We have in the past, traditionally marketed with salad dressing and things of that nature,” said Michael Hively, general manager of Glenville, Ga.-based Bland Farms LLC. “A few weeks in one of the large chains, we’re running a promotion with a microwavable onion cooker attached to every 5-pound bag.”

The Vidalia Onion Committee, Vidalia, Ga., has put together a promotion with Corona Beer, Hively said.

“There were quite a few of us that saw a salsa mix to make and when you buy the Corona beer, you get a discount on onions, avocados, all the inputs you need for the salsa,” Hively said.

Wendy Brannen, the committee’s executive director, said the Corona tie-in will run June 1 through Aug. 31.

“They’re doing the Fiesta Day Flavor, a salsa and guacamole promotion, with promotional displays in beer and wine aisles and secondary displays in produce aisles,” Brannen said. “This is a sweepstakes program, where consumers can enter to win a trip to Mexico and one of the biggest components is a tear-off with information about the sweepstakes. More importantly for us it has coupons for each of the produce partners, including Vidalia onions. The others are a lime and avocado and tomato partners.”

Coupons are worth 50 cents off 5 pounds of Vidalia onions, Brannen said.

FIRST COUPON

“To my knowledge, this is the first coupon program the committee has ever participated in,” she said.

The program may reach as many as 15,000-plus stores nationwide,” she said.

“Pretty much any retailer that’s involved with the Corona program can be involved,” she said.

Wayne Mininger, executive vice president of the Greeley, Colo.-based National Onion Association, said that, nationally, the onion industry is working with pork producers.

“We have a message that’s mutually compatible,” Mininger said. “Working with Cinco de Mayo is a cross-promotion for a large segment of the population.”

For Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., cross-promotions come up occasionally, said Chris Eddy, sales manager of the company’s office in McAllen, Texas.

“We try to cross-promote where we can,” he said.

It’s not that difficult to come up with a cross-merchandising plan for onions, Eddy said.

“Individual retail customers will cross-merchandise onions in parts of their stores with meat departments or the steaks or avocados,” he said. ‘Try to think of what goes good with an onion and pair ‘em up. You have to be creative in your merchandising ideas and how you want to present the product and the vehicles to do that.”