Sep 06, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA – As the 29th National Rice Month kicked off this week, USA Rice added a new consumer outreach program to its arsenal, the Think Rice Newsletter.
The newsletter is a follow up to the 2018 Think Rice Road Trip where Domestic Promotion teams visited with thousands of consumers across the trip’s nine-state route collecting e-mail addresses, areas of consumer interest, and additional information.
“We collected more than 2,000 email addresses from consumers who went out of their way to visit with us, learn about U.S.-grown rice, and express an interest in hearing from us again – with recipes, coupons, tips, and other information,” said USA Rice’s Deborah Willenborg who was at every stop along the 2018 road trip.
The September newsletter reminds the recipients that they visited the truck and walked away with an Aroma rice cooker and a sample of U.S.-grown rice. Articles include a wrap up of the entire 2018 Think Rice Road Trip, information on USA Rice’s social media ambassadors and where to find them and their recipes, promotion for the National Rice Month scholarship, and more.
The featured recipe of the issue is for Cajun Sausage & Pepper Rice that includes cost per serving information to remind readers just how economical rice is. There’s also a farmer feature with Mississippi’s Austin Davis.
“Farmer stories are one of the most powerful tools we have to help us promote U.S.-grown rice and connect with consumers who more and more want to know ‘the story of their rice,’” explained Robbie Trahan, chair of the USA Rice Domestic Promotion Committee. “We think it’s important to include a farmer profile or photos and videos from the farm in each issue to remind folks that their rice is coming from right here in the U.S. and there’s a family painstakingly growing it sustainably, and with care and love.”
Willenborg added that while this issue was the same for everyone on the list, future issues could be customized based on consumer interest.
“Some people told us they would use more rice if they had more recipes, while others told us they prefer to eat rice when they dine out. The next newsletter for the first group may contain more than one recipe, while the second group may see an article calling out national chain restaurants that serve U.S.-grown rice,” she explained. “We also have the ability to include coupons in future newsletters, so USA Rice members interested in participating in this way should reach out to us.”
Willenborg also said the distribution list will continue to grow as USA Rice interacts with more consumers at events throughout the year.