The Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, Parma, Idaho, is taking onion promotions to heart this year with its From the Heart of Onion Country, USA, campaign, said Sherise Jones, marketing director.

“With buyers and consumers growing interest in knowing where there food comes from, USA Onions (the brand of the committee) feels it’s important to share our story with retailers and consumers,” she said.

Promotional efforts will feature stories about the people behind the growing and packing process and the care and dedication those individuals exercise on a daily basis to deliver high quality and healthy yellow, red and white Spanish onions, Jones said.

The committee also is promoting Spanish sweets as a heart-healthy choice for consumers as part of the campaign, highlighting nutritional facts such as 10% of a daily allowance of vitamin C, Jones said.

The promotion includes new informational material, an updated and revamped website and an increased social media presence to reach consumers more effectively.

“The campaign will be used for both foodservice and retail. It will appear in all ads, on social media and on the website,” Jones said.

Materials for retailers will also be available for download.

“We went with downloads so that retailers can customize their message to the structure and specifications of their individual stores,” Jones said.

Fun facts and other kid-friendly activities also are being developed.

In addition, the committee is set to run its broker incentive program again this year, Jones said.

“Brokers will receive eight points per load, and those points can be redeemed at the end of the program period for prizes,” Jones said.

For the past two seasons the committee has offered a variety of Weber grill-related prizes.

The reward incentives for this year were not scheduled to be announced until the end of August.

The program will be available from Sept. 15 to Feb. 1. There is no limit to the number of points brokers can accumulate.

All promotions sponsored by the committee are designed to support the industry as a whole, whether directed toward consumers or those in the supply chain.

“We are always striving to increase consumption of Idaho and eastern Oregon onions, and to do so we engage in promotions that provide information about health benefits and other relevant information such as storage tips and yield charts,” Jones said.

Social media is also helpful, especially for reaching consumers who might not have as much experience cooking with onions.

“We are gaining a more active presence on Twitter and Pinterest because it helps us reach a younger audience, and the earlier we can get young people to choose onions the more likely we can create an onion lover for life,” she said.

The committee also offers free grilling recipe cards as part of its alliance with Weber-Stephen Products LLC (which makes Weber grills), Jones said.