Citing excellent response to the USA Onions' tailgate promotion on Facebook, Sherise Jones, marketing director for the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee, said in mid-November that cookbooks are being sent out at a rate of one a day.
The 375-page "Time to Grill" cookbooks showcase recipes from Weber-Stephen, the makers of Weber grills and grill products.
And in addition to covering virtually every menu segment, the recipes prominently feature onions, which put the jumbo Spanish Sweets from Idaho-Eastern Oregon in the spotlight.
"It's been great," Ms. Jones said."We're giving away a cookbook a day, and every Friday we're giving away a Weber kettle grill."
The grilling platform kicked off Sept. 1 and runs through college football season, taking in the bowl games, and wraps up on Super Bowl Sunday with a grand prize giveaway of a large Weber gas grill.
Tied to the in-store sweepstakes during professional and college football seasons this fall through Super Bowl Sunday, the Facebook sweepstakes will feature daily and weekly random drawings from USA Onions page "likes" and posts of great grilling experiences. Facebook friends can learn about the onions as well as find additional recipes.
The social network itself hit a phenomenal 1 billion users in August 2012, and the networking and promotional possibilities are, in a conservative word, "enormous."
The enthusiasm for social media and the USA Onions giveaways dovetails perfectly with the emotion displayed by football fans in the United States, and the IEOOC growing region of both Oregon and Idaho is home to a spirited rivalry.
"At our PMA booth, we recognized NCAA status of Idaho and Oregon schools," Ms. Jones said. "Many of our colleges and universities are ranked in the top 25."
The list of regional NCAA institutions includes Oregon State University, Idaho State University, Boise State University, Portland State University, University of Oregon and University of Idaho. Week 11 of the NCAA football rankings had Oregon in second and Oregon State 16th in the Bowl Championship Series. The AP top 25 had Oregon first and Oregon State 15th, with Boise State also receiving votes. USA Today had Oregon first, Oregon State 17th and Boise State 22nd; and ESPN had Oregon first and Oregon State 15th, with Boise State also receiving votes.
"There's speculation out there that an Oregon school could go to the Rose Bowl," she said.
NFL leaders after week 10 were the New England Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos, and Ms. Jones said, "We're moving forward on our Super Bowl extravaganza giveaway."
She added that the cookbook's well-planned presentation has elevated grilling and tailgating to an art form. Each menu item is presented in two versions on facing pages. An easy-to-prepare item is on the left page, and the right-hand page provides a recipe for the "more adventurous, sophisticated griller." Desserts, veggies, eggs, seafood, red meat and appetizers are all featured.
"For instance, in the seafood section on a left-hand page is a recipe for cilantro marinated shrimp, with nine ingredients and prep-to-plate time of 40 minutes," Ms. Jones said. "On the facing page is shrimp tortilla soup, which has 17 ingredients and calls for grilling the shrimp before adding it to a stove-top soup pot. Both are awesome."
One recipe that was prepared at the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit and is featured in the book and on recipe cards available from USA Onions is the USA onion and fig quesadillas, which is quick and nutritious finger food that was a hit with youngsters.
"This is tailgating taken to a whole new level," Ms. Jones said.