'Shrek' Makes Kids Eat Onions?

Kim Conte

shrek vidalia onionsWhat do ogres and onions have in common? As any Shrek fan will tell you, both have layers, of course! But as it turns out, the two stinky items have another similarity (albeit a surprising one): Both are popular with kids, thanks to a joint marketing campaign between Shrek Forever After and Vidalia Onions.

An association that represents Vidalia onion growers in Georgia uses characters from the fourth installment of the popular ogre movie franchise on packaging, store displays, and on a website. And the partnership has been enormously successful -- with farmers reportedly shipping eight million more pounds of Vidalias than by the same date last year! (Hopefully, it won't go the way of the Shrek-McDonald's campaign and subsequent glass recall.)

Marketing vegetables to kids is a tricky feat in and of itself. But marketing onions sounds practically impossible. When is the last time you thought, "Mmmmmm, onions"? Sure, they're useful for cooking but not all that tasty on their own.

But Shrek is turning out to be the perfect onion pitchman; in fact, moms are reporting that their kids have been begging them to buy bags of onions with Shrek's image. And to help moms use up all those onions, the Vidalia onion association even has a website with kid-friendly "Shrektacular" Vidalia onion recipes including: Fiona's Favorite Funyuns, Donkey's Savory Onion Parfait, and Swampy Joes.

Onion parfait doesn't sound all that appetizing to me, but it is refreshing to see a popular cartoon character promote something other than sugary cereal. Perhaps this is the secret to get kids to eat their vegetables -- find a way to tie them in to their favorite movie characters? Seems like Vidalia onion growers may be on to something ...

Have you seen the Shrek onion displays in your supermarket? Do your kids ask you to buy onions?


Image via Vidalia Onion Committee

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