Bland Farms partners with The SpongeBob Movie
The Bland Farms team stands with SpongeBob at Fresh Summit after announcing a partnership with the brand for the upcoming Vidalia onion season. ( Ashley Nickle )

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Bland Farms announced at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit a partnership with The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge for the 2020 Vidalia season.

Meg Robinson, sales and marketing manager for Bland Farms and Vidalia Brands, said promotions will begin in earnest in April with the start of the season. The movie debuts May 22.

Co-branded packaging, consumer sweepstakes and contests, and movie pass giveaways will be part of the buildup to the movie’s premiere. Other elements of the campaign will include point-of-sale material and display contest opportunities for produce departments. The movie has other partners in the food industry, so there are plans for cross-promotions as well.

Bland Farms had been teasing the news leading up to Fresh Summit, including with a media tour of The Studios at Paramount.

“SpongeBob’s the most meme-able character, it’s been around for 20 years, so people are really excited about the partnership once they learn about it,” Robinson said. “And we think it’ll make a big impact on the produce department. It’ll really draw people’s attention to our onions and make a big bang.”

Bland Farms worked with Atlanta-based Langston Communications, led by president Steve Langston, on the partnership.

“He’s the one that did the Shrek promotion with the Vidalia Onion Committee, so he introduced us to Paramount, we put together some ideas, showed them what we were capable of at Bland Farms, showed them how Vidalia onions are just such a prominent onion in the produce department, and they were excited,” Robinson said. “We thought about the Crabby Patty, which is the hamburger on SpongeBob, so between that and thinking that an onion’s always on the Crabby Patty, thought it would be a good way to partner together.”