Nov 15, 2018
ARLINGTON, VA – The results are in and USA Rice’s combination of promotional activities aimed at the retail, consumer, and foodservice segments to celebrate September as National Rice Month (NRM) went a long way to increasing awareness and consumption of U.S.-grown rice.
USA Rice worked with registered dieticians (RD) at three grocery store chains across the country: Jewel-Osco, Pyramid Foods, and Weis. Through these efforts, the NRM retail program secured more than five million impressions through a variety of platforms including print and online newsletters, blogs, store circulars, signage and displays, social media, shareable videos, in-store demonstrations, rice cooking classes, and community events.
During the NRM promotion, Jewel-Osco reported an overall 12 percent increase in sales of their Signature Kitchen Long Grain Rice and Weis reported a range in sales lift of 8.7 percent to 30 percent across all their locations. Weis also reported that the promotion resulted in 52 percent higher average dollar sales of U.S.-grown rice in dietitian staffed stores versus non-dietitian staffed stores.
“We continue to collaborate with retail dieticians because they have direct contact with the everyday consumer, and those interactions impact grocery purchases and cooking preferences, which increases domestic consumption,” said USA Rice Domestic Promotion Manager Cameron Jacobs.
For the first time, USA Rice partnered with fast-casual chain Roti Modern Mediterranean to host this year’s RiceGiving program. As part of RiceGiving, Roti pushed NRM messaging on social media and the restaurant chain offered a month-long promotion of a bowl of U.S.-grown rice donated to national food bank Feeding America for every signature rice dish purchased in any Roti Modern Mediterranean location or online.
“Roti Modern Mediterranean is already a major user of U.S.-grown rice, so they were a great partner for the RiceGiving program,” said Jacobs. “And the program was so popular with their customers, they surpassed the goal of 180,000 rice plates ordered by more than six thousand, resulting in a donation of over 20,000 pounds of U.S.-grown rice to those in need.”
As always, September is a big social media month for USA Rice thanks to an NRM social media campaign that generated more than 3,976 likes, 608 shares/retweets, and 327 new followers. Posts for the NRM campaign included farmer features, recipe contests, giveaways, shareable videos, nutritional information, and fun facts about U.S. rice.
“As we continue to establish our digital presence and voice, our social media campaigns yield more and more impressive results,” said Vice President of Communications & Domestic Promotion Michael Klein. “With a year-over-year comparison of USA Rice’s NRM social media campaign showing at least 100 percent growth in likes, shares/retweets/, and followers, it’s clear our social messaging is resonating.”