VIDALIA, Ga. — The Vidalia onion industry’s Shrek movie promotion is designed to help broaden appeal.

Shrek promotion designed to attract younger Vidalia onion eaters

Courtsey Vidalia Onion Committee

The Vidalia Onion Committee, Vidalia, Ga., is going Hollywood this year, tying their retail promotions to the final Shrek movie.

While Vidalias appeal to a broad range of shoppers, research has shown the onions tend to skew a little toward those with higher incomes and to an aging demographic, said Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee.

Additionally, this is the first year the committee has designed recipes specifically for children.

“That is why it is my personal mission to try to find ways to appeal to newer and younger audiences,” Brannen said.

“It is so important for us to offer options for kids and foods that are healthy. It’s a good thing overall to do.”

The Shrek partnership finds DreamWorks Pictures eager to work with partners that promote healthy eating to children.

“The entire time we are circulating our point-of-sale materials and Shrek Vidalia packaging in the stores, they will be promoting the movie nationwide along with their other partners. The value of that is almost priceless to us because they have such great capabilities in marketing than we cannot do nationally,” Brannen said.

Though investing in a movie sounds expensive, Brannen said the committee this year is actually spending fewer dollars in promotions than it has in the past.

L.G. “Bo” Herndon Jr., president of L.G. Herndon Jr Farms Inc., Lyons, said the effort to start getting children interested in Vidalia onions should pay big dividends.

“It is important that we broaden our customer base,” he said.

“While my mother and wife cook, we want the next generation to do some cooking. This Shrek promotion should help encourage the younger generation to do more of that.”

Richard Pazderski, sales and marketing director for Bland Farms LLC, Glennville, said the grower-shipper welcomes the promotion.

“It will be a great promotion for the industry in general,” he said.

“Shrek obviously has a huge following with families and the type of families that will see these onion packs and Shrek in the grocery stores. It should bring a lot of visibility to our products. The timing will be perfect.”

John Tumino, marketing director of the Charlotte, N.C.-based Richter and Co. Inc., which markets for Stanley Farms, Vidalia, said the promotion should extend the promotion of the Vidalia brand.

“They will give the Vidalias more visibility,” he said. “It has high recognition. Vidalias stand well on their own, but the Shrek promotion will attract more attention.”