JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA & AMMAN, JORDAN – During the Holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day. After sundown, they partake in large family feasts that feature rice-heavy traditional Arabic dishes. Rice consumption in the Muslim world always spikes during the observance, which is why USA Rice steps up promotions to increase awareness prior to the start of the holiday. This year, USA Rice partnered with local U.S. rice brands here to spread both the messages and the costs.
“It’s important for U.S. brands to be prominent around Ramadan as last year there was a dramatic increase in U.S. rice sales to Saudi Arabia from the month prior to Ramadan,” said USA Rice Vice President International Hugh Maginnis. “Consumers are looking for high quality rice to use for special dishes prepared for Iftar, the daily breaking of the fast, and a donation to the poor, called Zakat that often includes a box of food. We find that brand choices made at Ramadan tend to carry through the rest of the year.”
The USA Rice pre-Ramadan media campaign throughout the Middle East included print advertising in Laha Magazine, the leading magazine in the Arab world with more than one million print and digital subscribers. Advertisements were placed in a special “pre-Ramadan cooking booklet” that consumers tend to keep throughout the year.
In Saudi, outdoor advertising promotions were posted on LED screens at prime locations, including a giant tower advertisement on one of the largest LED screens in the world.
In Jordan, advertising featuring local U.S. rice brands was placed on billboards throughout Amman, the capital city, as well as in other major metropolitan areas, in addition to ads that ran on “The Rose Show,” a popular broadcast on Watar Radio.
“These promotions help U.S. rice brands increase recognition, awareness, and sales, and contribute to the positive feelings foreign consumers have about U.S. commodities and our country as a whole,” said Maginnis.