Food Show in Turkey Cooks with U.S.-Grown Rice

Three chefs cook on stage beside large photo of another chef with the USA Rice logo
Finding new followers in Turkey
Sep 12, 2019
ISTANBUL, TURKEY – Last week, USA Rice joined 430 exhibitors from 29 countries to participate in the Worldfood Istanbul Show, an international meeting point for the regional food industry that attracts 20,000 visitors ranging from foodservice professionals, buyers, retail and wholesale managers, and traders.

USA Rice organized a special workshop at the show kitchen to present healthy and easy-to-prepare dishes featuring U.S.-grown rice.  The workshop was conducted by Emrah Fandakli, a young celebrity chef with more than 70,000 followers on Instagram.  During demonstrations, Chef Fandakli talked about the many health advantages and high quality of U.S.-grown rice, saying it is a perfect match for traditional as well as new and innovative dishes in the foodservice sector as well as for consumers.  USA Rice plans to develop a series of short cooking videos with Chef Fandakli that will be posted online and on social media channels in Turkey.

"Our goal with these types of activities in Turkey is to educate chefs about U.S. rice and create demand," said Eszter Somogyi, USA Rice director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, who attended the tradeshow where she had several meetings with local importers to gather market insights.  

“Turkey has been a difficult market over the past two years,” Somogyi explained.  “As a result of the ongoing trade war, Turkey imposed retaliatory tariffs of an additional 50 percent on all types of U.S. rice in the summer of 2018.  Even though the tariffs were reduced to 25 percent last month, these measures still limit U.S. rice sales potential to this market.  We feel certain that as soon as the trade disputes are resolved, U.S. rice sales will pick up again, as Turkey has been a loyal U.S. rice market for many years now."