Rice Truck Road Trip Provides Realtime Consumer Insight

Woman stands across a table and shakes her finger at woman with back to camera wearing a green Think Rice shirt
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Jan 09, 2020
ARLINGTON, VA – The Rice Truck road trip may have ended but the journey isn’t over as USA Rice continues to reap real rewards from the consumer market data garnered with each rice cooker giveaway event.  Every person who interacted with the truck was required to complete a database card with a series of questions about both demographics and rice usage/consumption. In total, nearly 3,000 database cards were collected throughout the 2019 tour which, combined with the batch from last year’s tour, swells the consumer sample size to more than 6,000.

The database cards asked consumers for their name, email address, and age group.  They were also asked about how often they ate rice and where, either at home or dining out, and what would it take to make them consume more rice.
“The immediacy and accuracy of this data collection method is valuable to USA Rice in understanding the mindset of the average consumer,” said Cameron Jacobs, USA Rice director of domestic promotion.  “This insight pointed up barriers to access as well as consumption figures, and also allowed us to drill down on the data by region, age, and sex, all crucial information to help shape our promotional efforts in the future.”

In analyzing the data, Jacobs said, “The input we received was well distributed across age groups and provided significant takeaways.  For instance, more than half of all those polled said they ate rice two to three times a week, with less than 5 percent admitting to rarely/never consuming rice.  There is a direct link between those who eat rice only while dining out and those that indicated cooking was a barrier to consumption.  This gives real credence to the theory behind the Rice Truck program’s original argument that if you make rice easier to cook, people will eat more.”

The final question on the survey was “What would make you eat more rice?”  Given a choice of answers from “recipes, easier prep, healthier, and other,” the second least chosen response was “healthier,” indicating that people are moving beyond food fads and toward more flavorful, accessible, affordable alternatives.

“While people were filling out the surveys, the Rice Truck team kept up a running dialog filled with great information about U.S.-grown rice, from sustainable growing practices and food safety standards to nutrition facts and cooking qualities and tips, but the one thing that resonated above all others this year was simply that we grow rice in the U.S.,” said Jacobs.  “That is a message they won’t forget.”

In addition to the market data, USA Rice also uses email addresses collected to communicate directly with consumers through the Domestic Promotion consumer newsletter that is distributed on a quarterly basis.