Vidalia Onions

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.

"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