Dec 14, 2020
SOUTH KOREA – After the success of last year’s wholesale promotion with Samyang Corporation, USA Rice expanded promotions to include a second wholesaler, Daesang Corporation, known for its food and distribution capability. The new promotion with Daesang ran from August through September this year and, recently released sales data shows how effective it was in boosting sales.
“Samyang began to participate in table rice auctions for U.S. rice after a USA Rice seminar last year,” said Jim Guinn, director of USA Rice Asia programs. “They sold 15,000 20kg-bags of U.S. rice in less than three months of promotion after never marketing U.S. rice before. As we know, success breeds success, and Daesang was eager to partner with USA Rice on a promotion effort in hopes of achieving similar results.”
Daesang Corporation consists of thirteen subsidiary companies, one of which, Daesang Bestco, focuses on food wholesale markets located in major cities nationwide. Bestco has a reputation for maintaining food safety by carrying out continuous material monitoring and inspection, and partnering with this well-respected name brand automatically positioned U.S. rice in a positive light with Korean consumers and foodservice establishments.
The Bestco promotion was three-pronged: banners and leaflets extolling the specific characteristics of U.S. medium grain rice were on display at each of the company’s twelve outlets, USA Rice-trained Bestco personnel were positioned in each store’s rice section explaining the advantages of U.S. medium grain rice, and the promotion was announced through a mobile messenger app called Kakaotalk.
As of January 2020, 37 million people in Korea were using Kakaotalk -- 72 percent of the population. The app began as a messenger service but has become a platform for distributing third-party content, letting users follow brands to receive exclusive messages, coupons, and other real-time information. Daesang Bestco has its own Kakaotalk channel, with more than 30,000 followers, that they use to share sales flyers with consumers. The flyers also were distributed to residents nearby each location.
“Earlier in the year, Daesang had reported a gradual decline in U.S medium grain rice sales,” said Guinn. “However, during our promotion, total sales of U.S. medium grain rice increased by 147 percent and 224 percent, in August and September, respectively, compared to the same period in 2019. This followed a drop in sales that had averaged 57.5 percent from February to July 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.”