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What do ogres and onions have in common? They shook up produce aisles, VidaliaOnion.org and even schools this spring and summer.

Nearly 43,000 Vidalia onion fans played to win on the newly revamped VidaliaOnion.org web site, increasing the number of consumer contest entries more than 400 percent over previous campaign contests. A second contest garnered thousands more entries specifically from school-aged children across the country.

The Vidalia Onion Committee in Vidalia, GA, partnered with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. to promote the original sweet onion in conjunction with the release of "Shrek Forever After," the last installment in the Shrek movie series. Through in-store point-of-sale displays and other components of an aggressive public relations and marketing campaign, consumers were invited to a game on VidaliaOnion.org in which they helped Shrek search for onions and learn Vidalia trivia in his virtual enchanted swamp.

“Our Hunt 'n Peel Trivia contest exposed well over 40,000 current and potential Vidalia purchasers to Vidalia product information,” Wendy Brannen, Vidalia Onion Committee executive director, said in an Aug. 23 press release. “On top of that, it was just plain fun. Our graphics team created such a cool, interactive game with the lovable Shrek characters, swamp sounds and of course sweet Vidalias. I wish we could have left it on the site forever.”

Shrek-themed packaging and p-o-s materials, both of which featured Shrek- themed kid-friendly recipes and details of the consumer contest prize pack, were key components to driving consumers to VidaliaOnion.org.

The grand-prize winner of the consumer contest was Kelsey Miller, a 10- year-old girl from Citronelle, AL. She will receive the Ultimate TV Video Gaming Package consisting of a 50-inch high-definition television, a Nintendo Wii game system and a “Shrek Forever After” videogame courtesy of Activision. Additionally, 100 other winners will receive the “Shrek Forever After” Wii videogame.

In other channels, the committee promoted Vidalia onions on school milk cartons nationwide in June. More than 4,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade were prompted to enter an on-line contest by Shrek and Vidalia messaging on these milk cartons. Fifty winners received a “Shrek Forever After” Nintendo DS video game.