SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Auctions for U.S. medium grain table rice here had been suspended for several months which led to a dearth of U.S. rice in the market. This caused online retailers of U.S. rice to lose a number of regular, mostly household customers. Fortunately, 2016 tariff rate quota (TRQ) table rice auctions restarted in April and U.S. medium grain rice auctions created great interest.
To assist these important distributors in their efforts to reclaim lost online sales, USA Rice partnered with Rice Green, one of Korea’s top online retailers handling imported rice and other grain products, for two months (July and August) to promote U.S. rice in online markets. The promotion was conducted through the top four online malls and the number one social commerce market.
USA Rice-generated advertisements that included information about U.S. medium grain rice, U.S. rice recipes, and cooking tips appeared on all five online markets,” said Jim Guinn, director of USA Rice Asia Promotion Programs. “Participating retailers added to the promotion by giving every customer two 100g (.22 pound) packages of rice as a bonus on their purchase.
As a result of the promotion, 106 tons of U.S. medium grain was sold – a 50 percent increase from the prior two months – and almost 10 tons of free rice was distributed, and more than 95 percent of regular customers said in a survey that they would continue to purchase U.S. medium grain rice regularly.
“Based on this success, USA Rice plans to request Agricultural Trade Promotion funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to continue this promotional effort,” said Guinn.