Committee puts onion recipes on the grill

05/17/2013 01:56:00 PM
Cynthia David

The Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee is partnering with Weber Stephen Products Co. to use Weber grills in retail displays. The committee also plans a grilling challenge to show the diverse ways to grill onions. For the second year, the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee/USA Onions has partnered with Weber Stephen Products Co. to develop recipe cards for consumers and retailers featuring grilled onions.

“We have a ton of point-of-sale material with grilling ideas for retailers,” marketing director Sherise Jones said. “We encourage the use of nutrition data panels to help consumers understand how healthy onions are.”

Weber grills are available for retailers to incorporate into their produce displays.

The committee also offers retailers a quick-response code surrounded by an informative graphic that smartphone users can scan to retrieve a recipe.

Jones said busy shoppers often won’t stop to access a QR code unless they’re told what they’re getting.

She’s also working on a grilling challenge, part of a tailgate concept that should run into the fall.

To increase onion consumption in restaurants, the committee works with foodservice operators on recipes and invites them on farm tours, Jones said.

Meeting third and fourth-generation growers in Idaho and eastern Oregon and seeing their fields and packing operations gives visitors a good handle on what it takes to grow the area’s more than 1 billion pounds of onions a year, Jones said.

“We get a lot of mileage when we work with chefs and operators,” she said. “They work with their buyers to bring our product in.”

Using the USA Onions brand for foodservice and retail programs has also encouraged buyers to purchase U.S.-grown onions, she said.



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