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 flavour 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 and we 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.

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