It’s an American tradition to savor the flavors of summer. From delicious salads and sides to perfectly grilled goodness….food just tastes better when it’s served outdoors. And that was the inspiration behind this iconic summertime promotion for our client, the Vidalia® Onion Committee (VOC).
With the year-round availability of sweet onions, consumers are not necessarily aware that Vidalia onions are only available in the Spring and Summer months which prompted us to develop the campaign. The Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer program launched May 1, and features downloadable coupons, a consumer recipe contest, tips from experts on outdoor cooking and entertaining and more fun stuff at www.flavors-of-summer.com.
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 promote the versatility of all participating products.
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 and cooking as an extension of the American home. 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 goes beyond recipes to also target hosts and hostesses with outdoor entertaining content.
The Flavors of Summer campaign 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
• Point-of-Sale (POS) materials
To help stores get in on the fun in the sun, retailers can download campaign graphics online for in-store circular advertisements. Retailers can also request POS materials from their Vidalia onion supplier, which will feature a colorful, summertime theme and participate in a retailer display contest.
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.
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.
For more information, visit www.flavors-of-summer.com.