Oct 04, 2019
KAWASAKI, JAPAN – USA Rice is conducting taste-testing demonstrations at all 26 Costco stores in Japan, introducing a U.S.-owned brand of rice milled and packaged in the U.S. and ready for purchase by consumers. Costco also has two items in the deli section of the Japanese stores that feature U.S. Calrose rice as the key ingredient.
One of the first customers to stop by a recent USA Rice in-store promotion was USDA Under Secretary Ted McKinney who was traveling with members of the USDA Agricultural Affairs and Agricultural Trade offices here in late September. This promotion is funded by the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program, although USA Rice has requested the use of Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) funds for future promotions.
According to Costco’s General Merchandize Manager Masahiko Chonan, the response to the USA Rice promotion has been very positive, with purchases of U.S. rice being six times the sales volume prior to the promotion.
“With the Japanese foodservice industry clamoring for access to more U.S. rice, we are hopeful that the ongoing bilateral trade negotiations will be successful in providing addition quantity and quality of access for U.S. rice to the Japanese market,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international.