Vidalia Onions

The Vidalia Onion Committee Teams up with the National Turkey Federation to Host Inspirational Foodie Events in Key Cities

May 05, 2016

Vidalia, GA (May 5, 2016) — The Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) is hitting the road this season by teaming up with the National Turkey Federation to host blogger dinners and food truck events featuring the 13-year old inspiration and aspiring food truck chef Lucas Hobbs.

Lucas Hobbs was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January, 2015. He is now in remission but during his hospital stay he became inspired by the movie Chef and The Food Network. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation came calling and asked Lucas for his wish, he requested a food truck to feed the doctors and nurses who cared for him along with the pediatric cancer patients that had become like family.

His wish came true and one event spiraled into multiple food truck events around Minneapolis that garnered national attention and helped feed thousands. In addition to hospital personnel and patients, trucks visited the local police station and a homeless shelter. Lucas appeared on Rachel Ray Show and various regional and national news outlets and Sallie Mae awarded him a $10,000 scholarship. And by summer of 2015 Lucas was cancer free and by fall 2015 Chef Lucas Food was born with the mission to do good with food.

Inspired by his story, the Vidalia Onion growers felt that Lucas embodied all that we aspire to do by making people happy with food, but also inspiring people to have fun with food. To that end, the VOC worked with Chef Lucas Food to create similar food truck events as part of their marketing program and consumer outreach in markets that will include Minneapolis and Nashville during May and June.

“We were moved by Lucas’ story and his mission to do good with food and we felt it was a perfect tie-in for our V*Inspired campaign this year,” said Susan Waters, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion
Committee. “We like to think of Lucas as our Chief Inspiration Officer and know that not only are we inspiring a new generation of cooks and consumers, but we are supporting his efforts to raise funds to serve pediatric cancer patients and their families via restaurants and chef-designed meal kits for cooking at home.”

In addition to the Chef Lucas events, the VOC along with the National Turkey Federation, will be hosting food influencer dinners in New York, Minneapolis and Nashville that will include food bloggers, local media and dietitians. Food influencers are invited to a farm-to-table themed restaurant which includes a custom four-course dinner that features Vidalia onions and turkey.

“The VOC hosted a blogger dinner in Atlanta last year and the event was so successful, we decided to take this concept on the road this season, said Waters. “Turkey complements Vidalia onions on the menu and the chefs really get creative with the recipes, plus we have an opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with the bloggers. It’s a win, win event.”

These events will be featured on the Facebook at Facebook.com/VidaliaOnions and Facebook.com/ServeTurkey.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Vidalia Onion Committee Names Grower of the Year and Hall of Fame Recipient at Annual Banquet

March 15, 2016

Vidalia, GA (February 10, 2016) — The Vidalia® Onion Committee (VOC) hosted its annual awards banquet on February 6 at the Hawks Point Golf Club in Vidalia, Georgia. Jason Herndon from L.G. Herndon Jr Farms Inc. was named grower of the year and J. Scott Angle, former Dean of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Commissioner Gary Black also spoke at the event.

Each year, the Vidalia Onion Committee selects a grower or overall farm of the year to recognize overall achievement and success as a producer of Vidalia Onions with an emphasis on quality production and compliance with the Marketing Order. The farm must meet the following requirements:

  1. Registered Vidalia® onion grower
  2. Has submitted reports and payments in a timely manner
  3. Has had no or few complaints to the Committee Office
  4. Conforms to the standards set forth in the Order
  5. Enhances and supports brand recognition


The 2015 Grower of the Year was awarded to Jason
Herndon from L.G. Herndon Jr Farms Inc. A family owned and operated business, L.G. Herndon Jr Farms Inc. has been in business for over 30 years and now averages 500 acres of Vidalia Onions each year. Jason manages the farm for his uncle, “Bo” Herndon Jr. who was named grower of the year in 2008. J. Scott Angle was Dean and Director of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences for the past decade. Angle oversaw a period of significant growth in the college’s instruction, research and outreach. He recruited several nationally and internationally recognized researchers to help broaden the scope and impact of the college’s research. He also strengthened the links between the college’s research and extension units to ensure that farmers and other stakeholders in each of Georgia’s 159 counties have access to the latest, evidence-based information. In 2015, he became president and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center.

The awards were presented by Vidalia Onion Committee Director Susan A. Waters and Vidalia Onion Business Council Director Bob Stafford. Waters stated, “It was a great honor to present the Grower of the Year Award to Jason Herndon who has served as Vice Chair and Chairman of the Committee. We also wanted to recognize Scott Angles’ contribution to the Vidalia industry especially since the University of Georgia has played a key role in providing critical crop research and helping the industry to improve the flavor of our premium sweet onions.”

In keeping with Super Bowl weekend, “Team Vidalia” was the theme of the banquet this year and for the first time, the VOC hosted an inspirational speaker. Raised in Vidalia, Fred Stokes is a former American football defensive end who played ten seasons in the National Football League. He played professionally for the Los Angeles Rams, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. Stokes played in Super Bowl XXVI with the 1991 Washington Redskins against the Buffalo Bills. After his retirement from football, Stokes wrote an autobiography, “The Bridge That Brought Me Over.” In 2007, he established Fred Stokes Foods and has been working with the VOC to implement a new Vidalia sausage product at retail.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for
the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Vidalia Onion Committee Announces Start Date and Marketing Campaign

April 23, 2015

Vidalia, GA (April 23, 2015) - The Vidalia onion season official start date is set for April 27 and the Committee is continuing the “V is for Vidalia” marketing campaign after its successful debut last year. The campaign focuses on promoting the versatility and benefits of Vidalia Onions to a younger consumer base.

The promotion features increased digital and social media activities with outreach to food bloggers, a coupon and weekly give-a-ways on Facebook along with advertising and public relations activities. “We had a tremendous response to the ‘V is for Vidalia’ campaign last year which is why we have decided to make this a long-term promotional effort,” explained Susan Waters executive director of the VOC. “We were able to reach the targeted Millennial consumers and are beginning to establish their long-term loyalty for the Vidalia Onion brand.”

The campaign is set to launch with the Golden Onion Chef Competition on Sunday, April 26 during the Vidalia Onion Festival in Vidalia, Georgia. Chefs from throughout the state of Georgia will compete to showcase their creativity and culinary skills using Vidalia Onions in a variety of recipes.The Vidalia Onion Committee is now hosting this annual event with support from the Georgia Restaurant Association, Georgia Grown and The Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“We are very excited to be managing the Fourth Annual Golden Onion Competition this year,” said Waters. “Mara Davis will host the event as emcee. Davis is a television and radio personality for Atlanta Eats in Atlanta, GA and executive producer of Tastemore Atlanta. Our goal is to expand this event to become more interactive and relevant for attendees.”

A newly expanded retailer section of the Vidalia Onion Committee’s web site provides retailers with a range of marketing and merchandising resources at www.VidaliaOnion.org. Retailers can order a monthly crop report, review highlights from the 2014 onion category research study, download campaign graphics and merchandising tips, as well as access
storage and handling information.

Retailers can also request POS materials from their Vidalia onion supplier which will feature the colorful “V is for Vidalia” theme. Items available include:

  • Half bin displays
  • Poster
  • Shelf Cards
  • Self-adhesive, tear off recipe pad (150 sheets per pad)

Vidalia Onion Committee Reaches a Younger Audience with Digital Marketing Efforts

October 07, 2014

Vidalia, GA (October 7, 2014) - The Vidalia Onion Committee reached a younger audience with successful results this past season when they launched their “V is for Vidalia” campaign. The campaign kicked off on April 21 and focused on promoting the versatility and flavor of Vidalia onions with increased social and digital media outreach.

“The Vidalia onion brand has strong recognition among consumers nationwide. But our consumer research indicated that Baby Boomers have the highest percentage of usage while Millennial consumers have the lowest,” explained Susan Waters executive director of the VOC. “In the past, we have spent the majority of our efforts on traditional PR anwe realized that we were not reaching this important younger audience.”

As part of the campaign launch, the VOC hosted a field tour with food bloggers from around the country. Featured online with the hashtag #VisforVidalia, the weekend tour resulted in 324 social media posts from the food bloggers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest reaching 5.45 million total consumer impressions. In addition, 7,000 fans followed the tour on the VOC’s Facebook page.

From May through August, the bloggers posted 31 articles on their sites reaching an audience of 1.5 million consumers. “We provided each blogger with a $500 Visa gift card to post on their blog sites as an online give-a-way,” said Waters. “This resulted in 146,000 entries which is the largest consumer audience we have reached with an online give-a-way to date.”

The VOC implemented a digital coupon, weekly trivia contest and food blogger recipe contest on their Facebook page. “We increased our Facebook fan base by 62% to over 57,300 fans,” said Waters. “In addition, we had a 30% increase in unique visitors to our web site during the campaign and the majority of these were consumers aged 18 – 34.”

The VOC provided high-graphic bins, bags and point-of-sale materials for retailers. “In an effort to provide more resources for retailers,” explained Waters. “We created a new retailer section on the VOC web site which includes onion category research highlights, downloadable campaign graphics, merchandising tips and retailers can sign up to receive our seasonal crop report.”

The Vidalia Onion Committee will continue with same “V is for Vidalia” campaign theme for the 2015 season as part of a long-term promotional effort to build consumer awareness and increase usage.


About Vidalia® Onions

Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C. For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.



About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Vidalia Onion Committee Seeking New Board Member Nominations

July 17, 2014

Vidalia, GA (July 17, 2014): The Vidalia® Onion Committee (VOC) is currently seeking nominations for their grower Board of Directors. The VOC elects four new members each year as part of an annual process. There are currently four member spots and four alternate board spots available.

The VOC administers the federal marketing order locally and consists of eight producer members and their alternates and one public member and an alternate. The role of the VOC Board of Directors is to oversee the Vidalia onion marketing order and its role in carrying out research, marketing and advertising on behalf of the grower members. Members are limited to three consecutive two-year terms of office.

Qualifications for the board include being in good standing with the Committee, a registered grower with the State of Georgia, are an individual tax paying entity, and are on the last available GDA Registered Grower List or an employee of a member of this list. The VOC encourages all interested members including minorities, women and those with physical challenges to apply as they work toward building a diverse and representative membership. We are also especially interested in getting input from small business and organic growers so that the Committee might represent all interests in the Vidalia onion industry. Newly elected board members will be seated in their new positions upon approval of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Secretary of Agriculture.

Potential board members must first be nominated. Nominations will be accepted from August 22nd – September 4th. Please contact the Vidalia Onion Committee to receive a nomination form at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or via phone at (912) 537-1891. Nomination forms can be submitted via fax at 912-537-2166 or by mail at P.O. Box 1609, Vidalia, GA 30475.After the close of nominations voting will take place on September 18th from 8am-5 pm at the VOC office. No absentee votes will be accepted: walk-in voting only. All voters must be in good standing with the committee – defined as having timely regular reports and assessments that are current. Election officials will tally ballots, and all election materials are property of the USDA.

Susan Waters, Executive Director of the VOC remarked, “The Committee members serve in a role that is critical in the success and management of the Vidalia Onion Committee. Board members provide a voice to member issues and concerns so we can build programs that meet the direct needs of our growers and see that their funds are well managed.”

About Vidalia® OnionsVidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Unique Grilling Recipes Celebrate Vidalia® Onions Capturing the Taste of Summer with a Fresh Staple

July 03, 2014

Vidalia, GA (July 3rd, 2014): Just in time for the 4th of July, the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC) is sharing new recipes that celebrate the season’s freshest sweet Vidalia onions while capturing the mouthwatering flavors of this year’s hottest trends.

Summer grilling means three things: good food, good weather and good company. And it comes as no surprise that everyone’s favorite grilling dishes are those that capture the essence of summer and incorporate seasonal flavors. However, backyard barbecues can become routine with basic burgers and brats so the VOC is spicing things up with Hot Dog Sliders featuring Vidalia Peach Salsa, Banh Mi Tacos with Vidalia Slaw, and a Grilled Buffalo Chicken Flatbread Salad.

And better yet, to get your pantry stocked and ready for grilling, the VOC is offering special savings with a coupon for $0.50 off 5 pounds or more of bagged or bulk Vidalia onions. Find the coupon at www.Facebook.com/vidaliaonions.

With big flavors front of mind, the Vidalia Onion Committee is also engaging food bloggers on Facebook with the “V Culinary Challenge.” Bloggers are posting their own unique creations and consumers are invited to peruse the recipes and vote for their favorites. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500, and two runner-up winners will each receive a cash prize of $500.

So whether you’re planning a cozy grill-out with a few close friends or a big backyard party, be sure to impress your guests with a dish that captures the sweet tastes of summer and reminds everyone that “V is for Vidalia.”

Hot Dog Sliders
with Vidalia® Peach Salsa and Sweet Chili Mustard

Serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes,
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

· 1 small Vidalia onion, chopped

· 2 peaches, pitted and chopped

· 1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and minced

· 1 tsp. lime juice

· 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

· 3 wieners

· 3 dinner or Hawaiian rolls

· 3 Tbsp. yellow mustard

· 1 Tbsp. honey

· 1 tsp. chili powder

Instructions:

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. In a medium bowl combine Vidalia onion, peaches, chili pepper, lime juice and cilantro.

2. In a small bowl combine mustard, honey and chili powder.

3. Cut each wiener in half widthwise to create 6 mini wieners. Split each mini wiener in half lengthwise, not cutting all the way through.

4. Grill wieners over direct heat, flipping occasionally, until browned, 9-12 minutes.

5. Split rolls through the middle but not all the way through. Spread each bun with 2 teaspoons of mustard mixture. Top with a wiener, split side up. Fill the split in the wiener with Vidalia Peach Salsa.

Bahn Mi Tacos with
Vidalia® Slaw and Garlic

Serves 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes,
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

· 1 pork tenderloin (approx. 1 and ¼ lb.), silverskin trimmed off

· ¼ cup maple syrup

· ¼ cup soy sauce

· ¼ cup Dijon mustard

· ¼ cup cider vinegar

· 2 small Vidalia onions, sliced thinly

· 3 medium carrots, grated

· ½ English cucumber, julienned

· 8 corn tortillas (6” diameter)

· 2 Tbsp. olive oil

· ½ cup mayonnaise

· 2 cloves garlic, minced

· 1 tsp. lime juice

· pinch of salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Cut the pork tenderloin in half widthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into 8 equal strips. Thread each strip onto a skewer and lay them on
a plate.

2. Make marinade by combining maple syrup, soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Pour half over the pork, turning to coat. Use the remaining marinade to make a Vidalia Slaw by stirring in the vinegar, onion, carrot and cucumber. Refrigerate slaw.

3. Grill pork over direct heat, flipping occasionally, until cooked through, 7-10 minutes. While the pork cooks, combine mayonnaise, garlic, lime and a pinch of salt. Remove pork from grill.

4. Brush both sides of corn tortillas lightly with olive oil. Grill each side of tortillas over direct heat until slightly browned, 1 minute per side.

5. Spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise mixture. Top with a pork skewer and some Vidalia Slaw. Remove skewer before eating.

Grilled Buffalo
Chicken and Vidalia® Flatbread Salad

Serves 2 for dinner, 4 as an appetizer

Prep Time: 15 minutes,
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

· 1 medium Vidalia onion

· 5 Tbsp. Buffalo Wing Sauce, divided

· 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1/2 lb. total)

· 2-9 inch naan breads or pre-baked pizza crust

· 1 tsp. olive oil

· ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

· 4 cups salad greens

· 1 carrot, peeled and then shredded using a potato peeler

· 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

· 4 Tbsp. ranch dressing

Instructions:

1. Preheat a grill to med-high heat. Trim ends and peel Vidalia onion and slice into three thick slices. Keep rings intact. Brush onion slices with 1 Tbsp. wing sauce.

2. Brush each chicken breast with 1 Tbsp. wing sauce.

3. Grill the three onion slices and chicken breasts until chicken is cooked through and onion slices are blackened, 12-15 minutes. Do not turn off grill.

4. Use the remaining 2 Tbsp.’s of wing sauce to brush chicken and onions again after cooking.

5. Oil one side flatbread with ½ tsp. of olive oil. Put flatbread oil-side-down on the grill.

6. Top with ¼ cup cheese. Grill until bottom is starting to brown and cheese is melted, 3-4 minutes.

7. Slice chicken into ½ inch slices. Separate onion slices into rings, top flatbread with salad greens, carrot, celery, ranch dressing, chicken and onion rings.

For even more recipes and tips, visit VidaliaOnion.org

About Vidalia® Onions

Vidalia onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Applebee’s® Launches New Farm-To-Table Inspired Menu Item Featuring Vidalia Onions

May 21, 2014

Vidalia, GA (May 21, 2014): The Vidalia® Onion Committee and Applebee’s have partnered to bring consumers a truly unique, summer dish that boasts Georgia pride and farm fresh flavor. On May 5, Applebee’s introduced the new Grilled Vidalia® Onion Sirloin, part of the brand’s new summer menu.

Applebee’s is offering this promotional menu item, which features a seven-ounce sirloin topped with a grilled Vidalia onion slice and served with garlicky spinach, smashed and crisped red-skinned potatoes and a Hawaiian-style barbecue sauce, through Aug. 17. The Kansas City, Mo.-based 2,000-unit casual-dining brand of DineEquity, Inc. estimated it will use as many as 23,000 pounds of onions per week during peak times this summer. Vidalia onions are grown in a defined 20-county area near Vidalia, Georgia.

To launch the new dish, Applebees hosted a press conference at their restaurant in Dunwoody, Georgia, near the very first Applebees’ location in Decatur, Ga. The restaurant was aptly named “VidaliaBees” for the day on April 25 as they accepted the ceremonial first Vidalia onion from representatives of the Vidalia Onion Committee. The media was invited to attend the event as Applebee’s Executive Chef Michael Slavin and brand representatives showcased the recipe and delivered the news.

“We are thrilled to provide our unique, sweet Vidalia’s to Applebee’s,” said Susan Waters, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee. “This flavorful dish provides a great opportunity to educate consumers on the seasonality and versatility of Vidalia onions.”

The Vidalia onion was named Georgia’s official state vegetable in 1990. Applebee’s has a special connection to Georgia, as Bill and T.J. Palmer opened the original T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs in Atlanta in 1980.

“Forget the polar vortex, and bring on summer fun,” said Peter Czizek, Applebee’s Vice President of Culinary and Menu Strategy. “Our new
menu is full of authentic flavors, and we can’t wait for our guests to taste how Vidalia onions take our steaks to the next level.”

Applebee’s is promoting the new menu item with a national television ad campaign combined with public relations and social media outreach. The Vidalia Onion Committee and representatives from Applebee’s also introduced the Grilled Vidalia Onion Sirloin to food bloggers during a luncheon event on April 26 as part of a weekend field tour in Vidalia, Georgia. The committee will continue to promote the Applebee’s menu item on their social media platforms as well.

About Vidalia® Onions

Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

The Applebee’s Brand

Applebee’s is the world’s largest casual dining chain, with approximately 2,000 locations in 49 states, 16 countries and one U.S. territory. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Applebee’s takes pride in providing a welcoming, neighborhood environment where everyone can enjoy the dining experience. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar® restaurants are franchised or operated by DineEquity’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Applebee’s International, Inc. and its affiliates.

Recent Study Reveals that Vidalia Onions Play an Important Role in the Onion Category

May 14, 2014

Vidalia, GA (May 13, 2014): Recent category research by the Vidalia Onion Committee indicates that sweet onions lead the onion category with the largest dollar sales (35%) and Vidalia onions represent 62% of sweet onion sales. In addition, Vidalia onion sales grew by 12% while all other sweet onions sales grew by only 5%.

The study conducted by the Nielsen Perishables Group, on behalf of the Vidalia Onion Committee, analyzed national sales data over a two year time period (2012-13) and also reviewed retail performance. In addition to the staggering category sales data, the study found that Vidalia volume growth at 8% outpaced both other sweet onions (0%) and total onions (4%) in 2013 and highlighted key retail opportunities.

“This is exciting news to learn that when in season, Vidalia onions play such a key role in driving the growth of sweet onion sales nationwide,” stated Kevin Hendrix Chairman of the Vidalia Onion Committee. “Our previous consumer research reveals that 91% of consumers are familiar with Vidalia onions and they associate them with superior, sweet flavor so it’s great to match the consumers’ perceptions with the actual sales results.”

The study also compared the results of the top five U.S. retailers (best sales performance for Vidalia onions) with the bottom five retailers and a top line analysis reveals that the top performing retailers were successful for the following reasons:

· Had higher distribution of Vidalia Onions across all stores (99%) compared to the bottom performing retailers

· Were more focused on Vidalia onions, while bottom retailers were more focused on yellow onions

· Focused more promotions on Vidalia onions than bottom retailers; therefore selling more Vidalia volume on promotion and achieving a higher lift on promotion than bottom retailers

· Provided more of an assortment of bulk and bagged Vidalia onions especially with the 5 lb bag and 40 lb box

“This study clearly shows that the top retailers realize the importance and strength of Vidalia onions as an integral of their onion program,” said Susan Waters, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee.

Waters continued, “This research is part of our continued effort to connect with retailers and offer them critical tools and resources that maintain Vidalia Onions as the leader in sweet onions. Retailers can find the highlights from this study along with other tips and resources on our newly revamped retailer section of our web site at VidaliaOnion.org.”

To obtain the full research report, retailers are also encouraged to e-mail Waters at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About Vidalia® Onions

Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Vidalia Onion Committee Showed National Food Bloggers How Vidalia Onions are Grown and Harvested From Field to Plate

April 30, 2014

Vidalia, GA (May 1, 2014): To celebrate the start of the 2014 season and their new “V is for Vidalia” consumer campaign, The Vidalia Onion Committee hosted a field tour for food bloggers and media on April 25-27, 2014. The tour provided a first-hand look at how and where Vidalia onions are grown along with one-on-one conversations with farmers. During the weekend event, participants were also treated to a wide variety of specially prepared meals from local chefs featuring the versatility and flavor of Vidalia onions.

A total of 11 national food bloggers and key media explored the onion fields and viewed how Vidalias are harvested by hand. A tour of the packing facility showcased how these sweet onions are carefully handled, graded and packaged ensuring quality and food safety. Commissioner Gary Black of the Georgia Department of Agriculture joined the tour and spoke about the benefits of the Georgia-grown initiative in promoting Georgia’s locally grown products.

“Showcasing the entire farm to fork experience gave these individuals a real sense of not only how and where Vidalia onions are grown but more importantly what makes them so special,” stated Susan Waters Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee. “The farmers enjoyed sharing their passion for growing Vidalia onions, their dedication to food safety and quality and the history of their family farms which is multi-generational.”

The tour luncheon was hosted by Applebee’s and Michael Slavin, Executive Chef of Product Development for Applebee’s, introduced and prepared a new menu item that will launch in all U.S. restaurants starting May 5. The Grilled Vidalia Onion Sirloin – a tender 7 oz. sirloin, grilled to order and topped with a grilled and caramelized slice of sweet Vidalia onion, with garlicky spinach and smashed and crisped red-skinned potatoes in a warm, sweet and spicy Hawaiian BBQ sauce – is the star of Applebee’s new summer menu, The Season’s Best Flavors.

The tour coincided with the 37th annual Vidalia Onion Festival and participants attended several events including the Golden Onion professional cooking competition which provided a platform for 12 Georgia Chefs to display their skills and creativity.

Waters continued, “With a changing media marketplace, one of the objectives of the ‘V is for Vidalia’ campaign is to create more social experiences online and working with food bloggers provides an effective grassroots effort in sharing recipes and tips with consumers all season long.”

To that end The Vidalia Onion Committee is also engaging food bloggers with the “V Culinary Challenge.” Starting April 21 through June 10, bloggers will be invited to submit their own recipes online at Facebook.com/VidaliaOnions and starting May 1 through August 4, consumers will be invited to vote for their favorites. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and their bio, blog and recipe will be featured on the VOC’s web site. Two runner-up winners will each receive a cash prize of $500.

To reward consumers who frequent the Vidalia Onion Facebook page, the VOC will be featuring a coupon for $.50 off 5 pounds or more of bagged or bulk Vidalia onions. During the month of May, the committee will host a weekly trivia contest on Facebook and consumers will have the opportunity to win a basket of Vidalia onions along with other items.

For more information, visit Facebook.com/VidaliaOnions. For recipes and tips, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About Vidalia® Onions Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late
April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Vidalia Onion Committee Celebrates the Season with "V is for Vidalia" Campaign

April 27, 2014

Vidalia, GA (April 28, 2014): Vidalia onions are back in season and harvest officially kicked off on April 21st, 2014. The original sweet onion will celebrate its retail debut with the new “V is for Vidalia” campaign that is going digital with increased social media efforts including a coupon and national food blogger contest on Facebook.

First discovered in the 1930’s, Vidalia onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Over the years, they have grown into a leading consumer brand bringing in around $140-million farm gate value to the state’s economy annually and research reveals that over 90% of consumers are familiar with the Vidalia onion brand.

“Vidalia onions remain the most recognized onion brand in the market and we’re excited to continue to share the message about the original sweet onion with the “V is for Vidalia” campaign,” remarked Susan Waters, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee. “Whether they are grilled, caramelized, sautéed or simply sliced raw, we want to remind consumers of the versatility and premium sweet flavor of Vidalia onions – not to mention that they are only grown in Georgia and available in the spring and summer months.”

To launch the promotion and kick off the season in style, the Vidalia Onion Committee hosted a field tour for food bloggers and media on April 25-26, 2014. The field tour coincided with the 37th annual Vidalia Onion Festival; and allowed participants a behind the scenes look at the Vidalia onion industry, as well as provided one-on-one conversations with onion farmers. The bloggers shared their experience in real-time and consumers were able to follow along on social media at Facebook.com/VidaliaOnions, Twitter at #VisforVidalia and Instagram.com/vidaliaonioncommittee#.

“We were excited to invite food bloggers and media from around the country to tour the Vidalia onion fields and packaging facilities at the beginning of our season. Education is a powerful tool and sharing the entire farm to fork experience gave these individuals a real sense of how and where Vidalia onions are grown, and what makes them special,” said Kevin Hendrix Chairman of the Board of Directors for the VOC.

With a changing media marketplace, the Vidalia Onion Committee isn’t stopping at the field tour as the only social experience. Waters commented, “The peer to peer influence of social media is a dynamic environment for sharing recipes, tips and savings with consumers all season long.”

To that end The Vidalia Onion Committee is also engaging food bloggers with the “V Culinary Challenge.” Starting April 21 through June 10, bloggers will be invited to submit their own recipes online at Facebook.com/VidaliaOnions and starting May 1 through August 4, consumers will be invited to vote for their favorites. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and their bio, blog and recipe will be featured on the VOC’s website. Two runner-up winners will each receive a cash prize of $500.

To reward consumers who frequent the Vidalia Onion Facebook page during the month of May, the VOC will be hosting a weekly trivia contest and consumers will have the opportunity to win a basket of Vidalia onions along with other items.

For more information, visit Facebook.om/VidaliaOnions. For recipes and tips, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About Vidalia® Onions
Vidalia® onions
are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re
loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available
seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because
Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Vidalia Onion Committee Names Grower and Ambassador of the Year Awards at Annual Banquet

March 17, 2014

Vidalia, GA (March 17, 2014): This year the Vidalia® Onion Committee (VOC) announced the Grower of the Year and the first-time Ambassador Award during their annual banquet on February 8. Approximately 275 people attended preparing to set sail with the interactive pirate’s theme of “Protecting our Treasure” at the Hawks Point Golf Club in Vidalia, Georgia.

Each year, the Vidalia Onion Committee selects a grower of the year to recognize overall achievement and success as a producer of Vidalia Onions with an emphasis on quality production and compliance with the Marketing Order. The Grower of the Year must meet the following requirements:

1. Registered Vidalia® onion grower

2. Cannot be currently serving on the Committee

3. Has submitted reports and payments in a timely manner

4. Has had no or few complaints to the Committee Office

5. Conforms to the standards set forth in the Order

6. Enhances and supports brand recognition

The 2013 Grower of the Year was awarded to Dry Branch Farms, in Collins, GA. Dry Branch Farms is a 4th generation family farm, owned and operated by Wallace and David Jarriel. They started growing, packing and shipping their first sweet onions in April 1990.

In 1995 they built a new packing house with controlled atmosphere rooms and Wallace and David Jarriel were recognized as “Conservationist of the Year” for Tattnall County, Georgia. Dry Branch Farms has continued to grow and expand its facility which grows approximately 350 to 400 acres of onions.

Barbara Braddy from Braddy Farms was recognized with the newly created Vidalia Ambassador Award. This award was established to recognize dedication and diligence to the Vidalia Onion Industry. A retired school teacher and now office manager at Braddy Farms, she oversees all sweet onion sales and has been an active VOC board member for many years. Established in 1966, Braddy Farms produces Vidalia onions, cotton, corn, soybeans and pecans on 5,000 acres in Mount Vernon, Georgia.

The awards were presented by Vidalia Onion Committee Chairman Kevin Hendrix. “I was honored to present the Grower of the Year Award to Dry Branch Farms which recognizes excellence in quality, production and service to the Vidalia Onion Committee. And Barbara Braddy has contributed so much time and effort to our industry, the Ambassador Award was well deserved as it recognizes her passion, dedication and ongoing service.”

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee

Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Take the Party Outdoors with Sweet Vidalia “Flavors of Summer”

May 15, 2013

Famous Sweet Onion Makes Summer Shindigs a Breeze with Product Coupons and Chance to Win Ultimate Outdoor Entertaining Package

Vidalia, GA (May 1, 2013) – Warmer weather means soon more days will be spent outdoors, firing up the grill and entertaining friends and family. To help everyone step outside and into summer, the Vidalia® Onion Committee (VOC) is kicking off its Sweet Vidalia® Flavors of Summer program on Wednesday, May 1 and launching a website (Flavors-of-Summer.com) with access to coupons, expert cooking and entertaining tips, a contest with compelling outdoor-themed prizes and recipes guaranteed to make any soiree a success.

“Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer offers something for everyone—whether it is entertaining tips, coupons for savings or a fun contest for them to exhibit their cooking skills,” said Kevin Hendrix, chairman of the VOC. “We are excited to highlight the seasonality of our sweet Vidalias with this interactive program for our customers!”

Party planners and home cooks will save plenty when shopping for their next event with downloadable coupons from Vidalia® onions, America’s beloved sweet onion, and similarly iconic summer brands such as Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage Links, Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices, National Mango Board, Avocados from Mexico, National Watermelon Promotion Board and Stemilt Cherries.

Along with money saving coupons, the VOC also is giving grill masters, home chefs and hostesses across the nation the chance to upload photos and submit recipes of their salute to summer for a chance to win cash and prizes. Contest categories include: Grilling Favorites; Salads, Sides and Desserts; Marinades, Sauces and Salsas; and Outdoor Decorating and Entertaining. A winner from each category will receive $1,000. One of the top four category winners will be awarded the grand prize — an outdoor entertaining package valued at $5,000 that includes an outdoor grill and furniture. All entries must be received by Thursday, August 15.

For those who need a little inspiration to get the party started, official campaign spokeswoman and cookbook author Rebecca Lang provides expert entertaining tips and exclusive recipes. Lang is also a cooking instructor, television personality and contributing editor for Myrecipes.com and Southern Living magazine. She is hosting several events to kick off the program, including social media activities and in-store appearances.

Four popular food and entertaining bloggers will likewise share delicious recipes, decorating tips and party theme ideas on the website as well as Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Jamielyn Nye, iheartnaptime.net
Nye is the founder and managing editor of iheartnaptime.net. I Heart Nap Time is a creative site sharing DIY home projects on a budget, crafts, sewing tutorials, easy recipes, tips and techniques. She has been featured on many popular websites and media outlets, including Fox, ABC, NBC, Examiner, Huffington Post, Parents and more. Nye also shares ideas in a weekly column at Baby Center.

Courtney Whitmore, pizzazzerie.com
With a love of entertaining and food, Whitmore has quickly become a well-known stylist and cookbook author. Growing up in the South, she attended Vanderbilt University earning both a bachelor’s degree in communications and master’s in organizational leadership. Her expertise has been featured in HGTV.com, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, AOL’s DIY Life, Get Married Magazine, and MarthaStewart.com. She regularly works with food brands and entertaining products to develop recipes, style and photographs for her blog.

Stephanie Dulgarian, somewhatsimple.com
Dulgarian is the creator of Somewhat Simple, a creative website that features recipes, crafts and DIY projects for home and family. She is married to her best friend and together they are raising their four kids in sunny Arizona.

Angie Ramirez, littleinspiration.com
Ramirez is a Southern California resident. The 25-year-old created Little Inspiration to inspire others by writing about her journey through motherhood, crafting and living a healthier life by sharing recipes, craft tutorials and more.

About Sweet Vidalia® Flavors of Summer
The Sweet Vidalia® Flavors of Summer highlights and brings together iconic summer brands to provide the ultimate outdoor summer dining experience. The Vidalia® Onion Committee is partnering with Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage Links, Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices, National Mango Board, Avocados from Mexico, National Watermelon Promotion Board and Stemilt Cherries for this campaign. The “Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer” theme will be featured on thousands of retail store displays and Vidalia onion packages nationwide this summer. Flavors-of-Summer.com

About Rebecca Lang
Rebecca Lang is a food writer, cooking instructor and a ninth-generation Southerner. Born and raised in South Georgia, she is author of Southern Living’s Around the Southern Table, Quick-Fix Southern, Mary Mac’s Tea Room and Southern Entertaining for a New Generation. She has appeared on Fox & Friends Weekend, WGN America’s Midday News and numerous regional and local networks. A former assistant food editor at Oxmoor House, she earned a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University. She apprenticed with southern cooking legend Nathalie Dupree. She resides in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, Kevin; their children, Camden and Adair; and their snuggly Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Miss Bea. For more information, visit rebeccalangcooks.com.

About Vidalia® Onions
Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Disclaimer
The VOC provides links to outside entities on VidaliaOnion.org and Flavors-of-Summer.com. If you click on the links to these pages, you will be leaving the VOC websites. The VOC, its employers, officers and members have no control over these outside sites and are, therefore, not responsible or legally liable for their content. The provision of these links does not imply approval of the listed destinations, warrant the accuracy of any information at those destinations, constitute endorsement of the entities to whose sites the links are included or endorse any of the opinions expressed on any of these external websites.

These websites operate under the auspices and at the direction of their respective owners. If you have a question or comment about any of these sites, please contact them directly.
###

Vidalia Onion Committee Turns Up the Heat with New Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer Campaign

May 15, 2013

Georgia’s Famous Sweet Onion Teams with Other Iconic Foods to Give Consumers Ultimate Summer Dining Experience

Vidalia, GA (April 2013) – The Vidalia® Onion Committee (VOC) is bringing other tasty greats on board to assure strong sales this summer. The Sweet Vidalia® Flavors of Summer program will officially launch Wednesday, May 1, and will feature downloadable coupons, consumer recipe contest, tips from experts on outdoor cooking and entertaining and more.

The campaign partners Vidalia® onions with similarly iconic summer brands Johnsonville® Mild Italian Sausage Links, Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices, National Mango Board, Avocados from Mexico, National Watermelon Promotion Board and Stemilt Cherries to highlight the seasonality of Vidalia onions while also promoting the versatility of all participating products.

“It just makes sense to celebrate the summer season with other products and brands that resonate with consumers,” says Wendy Brannen, executive director of the VOC. Brannen explains, “Together, we can pool resources to generate more excitement at the consumer level and help our retail partners increase sales.”

While the VOC has been successful with past programs based in popular entertainment, the committee decided to tackle an emerging trend with the Flavors of Summers program – outdoor kitchens. According to a study conducted by the Home Patio and Barbeque Association, 82 percent of all U.S. households own a grill or smoker. To appeal to more than just the home cook or grill master, the campaign also targets hosts and hostesses with its outdoor entertaining theme.

This year’s partnership provides multiple cross-promotional marketing opportunities through a fully integrated campaign and a variety of channels, such as:
• On-pack brand/message integration
• National consumer contest
• Campaign website for consumers
• Social media messaging
• Food blogger outreach
• Retail display contest
POS materials

To help stores get in on the fun in the sun, Flavors-of-Summer.com will launch on Wednesday, May 1 with campaign graphics retailers can download to use for in-store circular advertisements. Retailers can also request POS materials from their Vidalia onion supplier, which will feature a colorful, summertime theme. Items available include:
• 24” x 25” horizontal display and/or box topper
• 11” x 7” shelf card and price card
• Shelf tag for refrigerated sponsor’s products

Additional items provided to retailers include:
• Bin and half bin displays
• False bottom half bins
• Secondary display boxes

Produce managers are encouraged to use the POS materials and be creative with in-store displays for a chance to be recognized among their peers and to win the latest Apple iPad mini. Four runners-up will receive a Deluxe Grilling Accessories Kit, which includes a Cuisinart 14-Piece Grill Set, Cuisinart Simply Grilling Nonstick Grilling Basket and a copy of The Barbecue! Bible by Steven Raichlen.
To enter the retail display contest, retailers can visit the website and fill out an entry form. Entries must include photos of the merchandising display and photos must be uploaded on to the website. Judges will determine the winner based on the following categories:
• Size and location of display
• Creative display techniques (innovation is key)
• Quality of display
• Use of POS materials and signage
• Additional secondary displays
• Proper stacking of display onions or bags
• Use of participating sponsors’ products
Mailed submissions will not be accepted. All entries must be received by 5 p.m. EDST on Thursday, August 15.

Rebecca Lang, who is a cookbook author, cooking instructor and television personality as well as a contributing editor to myrecipes.com and Southern Living magazine, has been named the official spokeswoman of the campaign and is hosting several events to help kick off the program, including in-store appearances. Lang also will participate in social media activities with food and entertaining bloggers Jamielyn Nye, Courtney Whitmore, Stephanie Dulgarian and Angie Ramirez, who were chosen as the Flavors of Summer brand ambassadors.

About Vidalia® Onions
Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, Ga., they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low-fat, low-cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers united to seek legal protection for their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989, to stipulate where the crop can be grown and help with research and promotion of Vidalia® onions. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion programs. This federal program along with Georgia state laws that protect the Vidalia® trademark have provided a legal framework for the industry. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia®,” unless it is from Georgia! For more information, visit VidaliaOnion.org.

Disclaimer
The VOC provides links to outside entities on VidaliaOnion.org and Flavors-of-Summer.com. If you click on the links to these pages, you will be leaving the VOC websites. The VOC, its employers, officers and members have no control over these outside sites and are, therefore, not responsible or legally liable for their content. The provision of these links does not imply approval of the listed destinations, warrant the accuracy of any information at those destinations, constitute endorsement of the entities to whose sites the links are included or endorse any of the opinions expressed on any of these external websites.

These websites operate under the auspices and at the direction of their respective owners. If you have a question or comment about any of these sites, please contact them directly.
###

Vidalia® Onion Shipping Date Set for April 15th

April 10, 2013

Vidalia® Onion Shipping Date Set for April 15th

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, Gary W. Black, today announced the official “Shipping Date” for the 2013 Vidalia® Onion Marketing Season is April 15, 2013.

The shipping date is based on the recommendation of the Vidalia® Onion Advisory Panel under the authority of the law, rules and regulations applicable to Vidalia® onions.

Vidalia® onions may ONLY be shipped prior to April 15th if each and every load being shipped has a Federal-State Inspection Certificate stating the onions have met the established grade requirements and are under “Positive Lot Identification” as approved by the Federal-State Inspection Service. “Baby” Vidalia® onions with greens attached may also be shipped earlier in the season.

“The Federal-State Inspection assures the quality of the onions and that they have matured to meet the marketing standards,” Commissioner Black said. “Onions that are harvested and shipped too early and do not meet the grade requirements can damage the reputation of this important crop.”

Most in the industry are still reeling from the 2012 crop, where growers say historically higher-than-normal temperatures during the growing season spurred smaller sizes and the onset of a particularly virulent strain of downy mildew; the combination of which resulted in roughly one-third reductions in marketable yields. Storage facilities last season remained largely un-filled, which resulted in a shortened season.

Vidalia® growers feel generally upbeat and optimistic regarding this upcoming crop. Most are reporting great stands, uniform growth and a general low-incidence of plant disease – all pointing to a great crop. Conversely, many are concerned about the recent (and forecasted) cooler-than-normal temperatures.

The expectation now is this will slow maturity and the onset of harvest to the point, many believe, that few quality supplies will be available much before April 15. Georgia Vidalia® onion growers plan to harvest more than 12,000 acres of Vidalia® onions in 2013.

Vidalia® onions are unique to Georgia and may only be grown in parts of a 20-county area in the southeastern part of the state. The onions are prized for their sweetness and lack of heat and are used raw or cooked.

###

About the GDA

The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department’s mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit, www.agr.georgia.gov.

About Georgia Grown

The Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program provides a powerful branding tool as well as education, marketing and business connections to expand agribusinesses and the agricultural industry throughout the state. Learn more or join Georgia Grown at www.georgiagrown.com.

35,000 NEW REASONS TO STOCK VIDALIA ONIONS FOLLOWING NATIONWIDE PROMOTION

October 17, 2012

Coupon and Country Music Download Offers Are a Hit with Facebook Users

Vidalia, GA (October 17, 2012) – Fans of Georgia’s sweet onion printed almost 50,000 Vidalia® coupons this summer with a whopping 26 percent of those consumers redeeming them to cash in on Vidalia onions. Having more than a quarter of shoppers coast-to-coast take the coupons to the store is a boon for Vidalia growers and retailers alike; the couponing company reports eight percent would be typical for online redemption.

The Vidalia® Onion Committee (VOC) launched a new Vidalia Onion Facebook page in conjunction with the coupon offer and year two of its promotional partnership with Universal Music Group Nashville. During the four month campaign, fans of the site shot up over 35,000.

“That first day was scary-sweet,” said Wendy Brannen, executive director of the VOC. Brannen reports the number of fans increased by the hundreds every few minutes and eventually finishing at over 10,000 by the end of the day.

“Seeing that much interest was so exciting it made you feel like a kid, but I also kept seeing the coupon redemption costs associated with every new fan ringing up like the slots in Vegas!” exclaimed Brannen.
The VOC continues to actively engage new fans with product details, promotional offers, contests, recipes and other interesting tidbits that will continue to boost retail sales.

The social media promotion featured free music downloads and prizes ranging from autographed country music CDs to a trip to the set of a country music video. Consumers “liked” the Vidalia fan page to receive a coupon to purchase Vidalia onions by the pound or to buy bags of Vidalia onions featuring country artists and new versions of old favorite Southern recipes. Home cooks were encouraged to enter a recipe photo contest to win country music CDs each week autographed by Universal artists. Each week’s photo winner was entered to win a grand prize trip for two to the set of a country music video.

In 2011 during year one of the “Sweet Vidalias & Country Music” promotion, the VOC held a national Vidalia Onion Jingle Contest. The contest was a success with over 60 entries from all over the U.S. and more than 136,000 visitors to the Vidalia onion website casting votes. All the entries can still be heard and enjoyed today at vidaliaonion.org.

About Vidalia® Onions
Vidalia® onions are the pioneer of sweet onions and Georgia’s official state vegetable. Grown only in the mild climate and unique soil surrounding Vidalia, GA, they’re loved by chefs and home cooks throughout the world. Vidalia® onions are hand planted and hand harvested each year, with sweet, juicy bulbs available seasonally from late April to late August. Vidalia® onions, with their mild, sweet taste, are versatile and can be used in a variety of amazing recipes. These Georgia sweeties are also a low- fat, low- cholesterol and sodium-free way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin C! For more information, visit http://www.VidaliaOnion.org.

About the Vidalia® Onion Committee
Because Vidalia® onions are sweetly unique, farmers were forced to unite and seek legal protection of their crop and its name. Federal Marketing Order No. 955 was established in 1989 to stipulate how and where the crop can be grown and sold. The Vidalia® Onion Committee administers FMO No. 955 and authorizes production research, marketing research and development, and marketing promotion programs. This federal protection reinforces Georgia state laws and the Vidalia® trademark. So, you can try to grow a sweet onion elsewhere, but you cannot call it a “Vidalia!” For more information, visit http://www.VidaliaOnion.org.

Vidalia

March 19, 2012

Pull out your favorite recipes and your list of ways to eat them. They

Sweet Onion Showdown in Vidalia, GA

March 15, 2012

Grower of the Year and Hall of Fame Recipients Honored at Country Western-Themed Industry Banquet

Vidalia, GA (March 14, 2012)

The Golden Onion: New Professional Cooking Competition Showcasing Vidalia

January 31, 2012

Vidalia, Georgia, USA (JANUARY 25, 2012)

Vidalia

October 20, 2011

VIDALIA, Ga. (September 15, 2011)

Famous Georgia Sweet Onion and Universal Music Nashville Announce Jingle Contest Winner

October 20, 2011

Vidalia, GA (October 12, 2011)

Vidalia Onion Jingle Contest Causing Internet Frenzy

July 14, 2011

Vidalia, GA. July 14, 2011. America

A LEGACY WITH LAYERS: THE VIDALIA

May 01, 2011

Soon Vidalia onion enthusiasts around the country will be able to explore the history of Georgia

VIDALIA

April 06, 2011

*Vidalia, GA. April 4, 2011.* Advertising for America

Famous Sweet Onion Tying In with Universal Music Group Nashville for Promotion This May

February 25, 2011

Vidalia, GA. February 15, 2011. America

KIWIS LEARN ABOUT ONIONS, STUDENTS GET CASH, THANKS TO

October 07, 2010

*Vidalia fundraiser winners take car tags to New Zealand, Afghanistan, even on a camel!*

Vidalia, GA. October 8, 2010. Vidalia onions got positive publicity from New Orleans to New Zealand, literally, this summer thanks to a joint effort between Vidalia Comprehensive High School (VCHS) marketing students and the Vidalia onion farmers

VIDALIA

October 06, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

*VIDALIA

SWEET VIDALIA

September 02, 2010

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Ashley Lansdale
Sahlman Williams
(813) 251-4242 ext. 226

Wendy Brannen
Vidalia

SHREK BOOSTS VIDALIA ONION SALES

June 30, 2010

Shrek has kids saying yes to Vidalia onions. Check out ABC World News Tonight’s feature on Vidalia Onions. “Shrek Boosts Vidalia Onion Sales”:http://abcnews.go.com/WN/shrek-boosts-vidalia-onion-sales/story?id=11047273

Vidalia Onions Promotion with Shrek is Featured in Wall Street Journal

June 30, 2010

Check out the front page article in the Wall Street Journal on The Shrek Promotion with Vidalia Onions. “The Onion’s Best Friend is an Ogre”:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704123604575323433042544568.html?mod=WSJ_hps_RIGHTTopCarousel_1#articleTabs=article

VIDALIA ONIONS AND SHREK

April 20, 2010

*Interactive online contest to highlight sweet onion trivia, final Shrek film*

*Vidalia, Ga*.

Vidalia® and Shrek® Team Up to Increase Retail Sales

March 19, 2010

Vidalia, Ga. (March 18, 2010)

Vidalia® Onion Committee Announces Winners of Sweet Times with Vidalias® National Recipe & Favorite Memory Contest

September 15, 2009

*

Produce Pioneer Vidalia® Onion Adds Flavor to LongHorn Steakhouse’s New Promo Menu

July 21, 2009

VIDALIA, Ga. (July 21, 2009)

Vidalia

June 22, 2009

Vidalia, Ga. (May 7, 2009)

Vidalia

June 22, 2009

Vidalia, Ga. (May 27, 2009)

Vidalia

June 22, 2009

Vidalia, Ga. (June 18, 2009)

Sweet Times with Vidalias Recipe Contest Evokes Warm Thoughts of Pioneer Sweet Onion

June 01, 2009

Vidalia, Ga. (April 28, 2009)

Vidalia

June 01, 2009

Vidalia, Ga. (April 27, 2009)

Vidalia Recognizes Industry Leaders of Yesterday & Today

February 18, 2009

*The theme was Fire & Ice, but the list of award winners was nothing but hot. The Vidalia

2009 VOC Members Announced

January 16, 2009

Michael Hively, COO/CFOof Bland Farms, LLC, Glennville, GA, will assume chairmanship of the Vidalia

Idaho Resident is Winner of Vidalia's "Original Sweet Onion" Trivia Contest

December 16, 2008

Vidalia

December 16, 2008

Vidalia, Ga. (December 4, 2008)

$1,000 Gas Card up for Grabs at PMA Fresh Summit

October 21, 2008

Vidalia, Ga. (October 21, 2008)

Beer and Onions?!? Vidalia Onions Pair with Corona for a Sweet Summer Sweepstakes

June 08, 2008

*VIDALIA, Ga. (June 4, 2008*)

Vidalia Onion Committee Hosts Original Sweet Onion Trivia Contest

May 19, 2008

*Vidalia, Ga. (May 12, 2008)*

Vidalia Onions to get National TV Attention during National Vidalia Onion Month

May 19, 2008

The Vidalia Onion Committee was established in 1989 as Federal Marketing Order No. 955. The order authorizes production and marketing promotion programs. The Vidalia Onion Committee administers the order locally and consists of eight producer members and their alternates and one public member and an alternate.

Check local listings for more information concerning participating networks and scheduled airtimes. For more information about how to enter the Original Sweet Onion Trivia Sweepstakes and additional recipe ideas, visit the Vidalia Onion Committee

April 23, 2008

*April 23, 2008. Vidalia, GA.* Georgia

Vidalia Onion Committee is Finalist for IACP Award

April 15, 2008

Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee, received an award as a finalist for the 2008 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Award of Excellence for Consumer Educational and Communication Materials. The IACP Awards of Excellence are given annually to honor IACP members who are experts and leaders in their chosen field. IACP is a not-for-profit professional association which provides continuing education and development for its members who are engaged in the areas of culinary education, communication, or in the preparation of food and drink.

First Harvest of Sweet Vidalia Onions Set for April 17

March 31, 2008

*VIDALIA, Ga*.

2008 Vidalia Onion Committee Members Announced

January 18, 2008

Vidalia, Georgia. The Vidalia

Local Business Woman Honored as

October 31, 2007

Vidalia, GA. Wendy Brannen, Executive Director of the Vidalia Onion Committee

Art At Any Age Can Be a

August 30, 2007

*80-year-old artist paints picture of Vidalia Onions *

*Vidalia, GA*. When Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia Onion Committee (VOC), contacted a budding Atlanta artist about painting a new piece for the remodeled VOC boardroom, she imagined the commissioned art would take quite a while.

Winners of Sweet Rewards Display Contest Revealed

August 27, 2007

VIDALIA, Ga.

Grocery Store Cooking Demos get Sweeter with Vidalia

July 30, 2007

* Vidalia, Georgia*. Consumer-friendly stores have begun partnering with the Vidalia

Winners of First-ever Very Vidalia National Recipe Contest Announced

July 20, 2007

*Sweet Vidalia Sliders

Annual Vidalia Award Winners Announced for 2006 Season

June 16, 2007

*Vidalia, GA.* The Vidalia

Vidalia Leverages High Profile Chefs in Marketing Efforts

May 17, 2007

VIDALIA, Ga.

Vidalia Onion Chefs Take Sweet Culinary Bite from Big Apple

May 15, 2007

*VIDALIA, Ga*.

Local Onion Ambassador Published in National Magazine

May 10, 2007

Vidalia, GA.

"Cooking Contest Corner" Radio Release

May 01, 2007

CONTAINING MORE THAN TWENTY PERCENT OF THE RECOMMENDED DAILY ALLOWANCE, ONIONS ARE ALSO AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF VITAMINS C AND B-SIX. BESIDES OFFERING THESE BENEFITS, COOKING WITH ONIONS COULD WIN YOU A PRIZE IN THE VERY VIDALIA RECIPE CONTEST, WHICH RUNS FROM MAY 1ST THROUGH AUGUST 17TH, 2007. TO ENTER, SUBMIT AN ORIGINAL RECIPE

Vidalia Onion Committee Holds National Recipe Contest

April 26, 2007

Vidalia, Ga.

First Harvest of Sweet Vidalia

March 21, 2007

*Shipping Starts One Week Earlier This Year*

*VIDALIA, Ga*.

Annual Vidalia Award Winners Announced for 2007 Season

February 16, 2007

*February 13, 2007. Vidalia, GA*. The Vidalia

2007 Vidalia Onion Committee Members Announced

January 27, 2007

Vidalia, Georgia. The Vidalia

Vidalia

December 18, 2006

*Tampa, Fla.*

Vidalia Marketing Earns National Produce Praise

July 25, 2006

*Vidalia, GA.* The Vidalia

Vidalia Onion Committee Hires Compliance Officer

May 10, 2006

*Vidalia, GA*. The Vidalia

Three New Brochures/Rack Cards Ready for Vidalias

May 06, 2006

*Vidalia, GA.* The Vidalia

Selecting & Protecting Sweet Vidalias

April 01, 2006

*Spring 2006.* When it

Paula Deen's Saturday Night Vidalias

April 01, 2006

For cookbook author and Food Network star Paula Deen, Vidalia Onions bring back memories of friends, family and food fit for kings. As a young mother in the early

Vidalia Onions & Weight Watchers Pair Up for Sweet 2nd Quarter

March 31, 2006

*Vidalia, GA*. The long-trusted authority on promoting healthful eating, Weight Watchers, has chosen Vidalia

Food Network Star Among Vidalia's 2006 Chef Advisory Board Line-up

March 15, 2006

*Vidalia, GA*. Four may be fantastic, but eight is downright exciting. Georgia

Annual Vidalia Award Winners Announced for 2005 Season

March 09, 2006

*Vidalia, GA.* The Vidalia

VOC Releases New Vidalia Onion Logo

March 08, 2006

Vidalia, GA. The most famous sweet onion

2006 Vidalia Onion Committee Members Announced

January 26, 2006

*Vidalia, Georgia.* The Vidalia

"The only thing better than the onions in Vidalia is the people. They’re great cooks, and friendly."
Bobby Flay - Chef Bobby Flay, "Postcard from Vidalia, Georgia" Bobby Flay Cooks American