New Canadian Contractor Brings New Promotion Opportunities

Airline food displayed in small white containers on tray including white rice, colorful fruit and vegetable salads, bread roll, and napkin
Air Canada flies with U.S. rice
Feb 06, 2020
TORONTO, CANADA -- Today USA Rice met with Harbinger, a cutting edge marketing firm here with a global reach and a client list that includes Dove, Dole, and Taste USA.  As the new contractor for Canada promotions, Harbinger is getting familiar with the USA Rice Canada portfolio in meetings with Maria Arbulu of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Canada and members of the trade to explore joint promotion opportunities in the market.

Included in the Harbinger presentation was a first-hand view of the most popular U.S.-origin rice promotions currently on shelves in Canada, including Gourmet and Go prepared meals, and Air Canada in-flight meals.

Monthly sales for Gourmet and Go prepared meals, available nationwide at Shoppers Drug stores, are strong and have been increasing steadily this year.  
The collaboration with Air Canada is a boon for the U.S. rice industry as U.S.-origin rice is now identified with custom bilingual stickers on in-flight meals.  This promotion began in July 2019 and to date more than 1,000 pounds of long grain white rice has been incorporated into various offerings on the airline's menu.

"Canadian consumers consider U.S.-origin rice the closest option to a homegrown grain," said Asiha Grigsby, USA Rice manager of international promotion who attended the marketing meetings this week.  "Canada is our third largest market for milled rice.  The opportunity to partner with strong Canadian brands speaks to the versatility and quality of our product, and, with Harbinger leading the way, we intend to seek more collaborations in the Canadian market."