The National Onion Association set out to prove that onions are delicious any time of day by co-sponsoring breakfast for 25 retail store dietitians at the Shopping for Health conference April 28 in Phoenix.
Kim Reddin, director of public relations for the Greeley, Colo.-based association, said the menu included an onion and carrot quiche with carrots from Bakersfield, Calif. grower Grimmway Farms, an egg and vegetable focaccia sandwich, a dried cherry and onion scone, and an onion-mushroom medley in place of hash browns.
Tote bag promo
The association continues to promote its partnership with the U.S. Potato Board and Package Containers Inc. in a handy Create Mealtime Magic paper tote bag that scored well in a six-week trial late last year, Reddin said.
During the trial, stores with the totes reported a 7.5% increase in incremental bulk onion sales, adding $82 per store per week compared to stores without the totes, Reddin said.
The bags, with their potato board and onion association logos, also added $90 a week to total category sales per store per week, she said.
“It’s a neat project because it helps bring awareness to both categories in the store, and it’s a great retail relations program between the grower and retailer,” she said, “something that creates sales for both of them.”
The totes are available to growers and retailers at a volume discount for the next 12 months, she said. They can be ordered from the potato board, the onion association or from Package Containers Inc.
After several years of promoting onions via satellite TV, Reddin conducted a radio media tour in May featuring sweet onions with Ohio cooking teacher and caterer Carla Snyder, author of “One Pan, Two Plates.”
“Radio is an underutilized medium and a fun, casual way to talk about your product without overwhelming the listener with an advertisement,” Reddin said.
“Morning shows, especially, talk about a lot of different subjects including food, cooking and nutrition,” she said, “so it’s a great time to capture a lot of listeners when they’re in their car.”
For a summer/fall promotion, Reddin said the onion association has developed a variety of innovative sandwich recipes using onions in different ways, from glazed in a steak sandwich to a pickled ginger onion relish.