KUTAHYA, TURKEY -- Local U.S. rice brand, Star, has been the focus of several USA Rice promotional activities here this month, letting consumers know where to find U.S.-origin rice on store shelves in the area.
“U.S. rice sales to Turkey suffered in the past two years because of the 25 percent retaliatory tariff imposed on all types of U.S. rice in June 2018,” said Eszter Somogyi, USA Rice director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. “However, that changed dramatically in May 2020 with a shipment of 26,000 MT of U.S. rough rice, purchased by the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) following a successful reverse trade mission organized by USA Rice (see USA Rice Daily, May 19, 2020
The TMO released about 13,000 MT of this shipment in early June for purchase by mills and traders. One local company, Kübas, was already on board to buy and pack U.S. rice after visiting the USA Rice booth at the World Food Fair in Istanbul last year. And, now that U.S. rice is readily available, Kübas has begun marketing Star, their identified U.S. rice brand, at the 43 Sultan Supermarkets they own throughout the country.
“Kübas contributed 30 percent of the promotional costs to produce branded shopping bags and rice cups attached to rice bags as giveaways during in-store promotions in four different supermarkets this month,” said Somogyi.
Mehmet Faik Mete, the Kübas purchasing and marketing manager, reported that Star rice sold out during the promotion, with total overall sales of 15 MT. Encouraged by this success, Kübas plans to continue to purchase and pack U.S.-origin rice and will begin selling Star rice on Turkey’s popular online shopping platforms including N11, Hepsiburada, and Trendyol.
USA Rice plans to conduct similar promotional activities with several other packers in Turkey to strengthen demand for identified U.S. rice here.