Grand Ole Sweet Onion Display Contest

Vidalia Onion Committee announced a winner for its Sweet Vidalias and Country Music retail display contest that drew more than 100 entries. The winner, Store Manager Charles Hanks from Harvey’s store in Tallahassee, Fla., was awarded a VIP trip to Nashville, Tenn.

Hank and his staff’s winning display was a massive Grand Ole Opry stage in the produce department with Vidalia Onions as the featured “act,” complete with guitars and dancing Vidalias made from plywood. Hanks says the display was so popular that they had trouble getting a snapshot of it without a mob of customers. The team also set up several secondary displays cross-merchandising product throughout the store.

The runner’s up, Laina Chastain, produce manager of Harvey’s in Grey, Ga., and Pam Coy, store owner of Viking Village, Inc. in Reedsburg, Wis., created displays that featured a front end loader dragging bins filled with Vidalias through an “onion field” and a very detailed rendering of the Grand Ole Opry. They will receive goodie baskets from the VOC that include CDs from some of the campaign’s featured country artists.

“We were truly in awe of the top three,” says Wendy Brannen, executive director of the Vidalia, Ga.-based organization.  “To say they were creative doesn’t do them justice. I cannot imagine being a consumer and not stopping to buy some Vidalias with those displays there.” The judging panel, made up of Vidalia onion marketers, picked the winners based on size and location of display, creative techniques, quality, use of POS materials and signage, additional security displays and proper stacking of loose onions or bags.

The contest was part of the 2011 American Sweethearts: Sweet Vidalias & Country Music promotion that was seen in retail store displays, Vidalia onion packaging and across all means of advertising. It featured some of country music’s biggest stars.

For more information, visit vidaliaonion.org.

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