VIDALIA, Ga. — Supermarkets across the country soon will be hosting Shrek — well, his life-size image, anyway — on top of a real-life heap of Vidalia onions, and Hy-Vee stores are getting ready now for the promo.
“I think it's a great tie-in,” said Ron Coles, assistant vice president of produce purchasing for Hy-Vee Stores.
“Shrek is well known and Vidalia is a powerful name in our marketplace.”
The Vidalia Onion Committee has partnered with DreamWorks Animation, SKG, to promote the sweet onions in conjunction with the May 21 premier of the latest Shrek movie, “Shrek Forever After.”
“The Shrek series appeals to kids and adults of all ages, and we know that popularity can segue into more Sweet Vidalia sales this season,” said Wendy Brannen, Vidalia Onion Committee executive director.
Point-of-sale materials available to retailers include 6-foot-tall Shrek floor stands, 2-foot-square Shrek display toppers, price cards and tear-off recipe pads featuring children-friendly fare. The POS materials are available through all Vidalia suppliers.
A display contest for retailers will begin on April 15. So will an online consumer contest. Details are described on the VOC's website, www.vidaliaonion.org .
The POS materials are so large they can't be missed. Certainly if a child gets near the produce department, Shrek's image is apt to pull him — and his mom — in closer.
Hy-Vee's Coles said he expected the displays and colorful materials to become a destination.
“We'll definitely use those POS materials. This is going to create excitement,” Coles told SN. He added that he anticipates the Shrek promo will boost not only Vidalia onion sales, but also total produce sales.
“It definitely will increase traffic in the department.”
While each of Hy-Vee's 200-plus stores has autonomy as to how it merchandises its departments, the produce departments are being encouraged to take the opportunity to make Shrek a sales partner, Coles said.
“In most cases, the display will be large and probably at the front of the [produce] department, but it really depends on the store.”
For the retail display contest, the display judged most creative will win its builder a three-day, two-night vacation for four to Orlando, Fla., including theme park tickets.
The VOC will promote Vidalias through a May in-store radio drive, milk carton messaging in schools across the country, and a national print and radio ad campaign.
The consumer contest, launching April 15, will have consumers visit vidaliaonion.org , where they will help Shrek search for onions scattered throughout his virtual enchanted forest and will learn Vidalia trivia along the way to winning. The grand prize is an “Ultimate TV Video Gaming Package” consisting of a 50-inch HDTV, Wii game system and “Shrek Forever After” videogame courtesy of Activision.