May 01, 2020
JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA – The holiday of Ramadan, a four-week period of fasting for Muslims, commenced on April 23 and is observed through May 23. Families gather at sunset to break their fasting and enjoy a meal together called Iftar featuring many traditional Arabic dishes where rice plays a major role, making Ramadan the highest rice consumption period of the year here.
Typically, USA Rice teams up during this important time with local U.S. rice importers to support the sale of local U.S. rice brands here as well as in Jordan, the West Bank, and Turkey. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications on everyday life for local consumers, typical activities of in-store promotions and branding, billboards, and outdoor media advertising were postponed.
Instead, USA Rice is using an expanded social media presence to stay in touch with consumers and keep U.S. rice top of mind. Twenty short recipe videos were developed and posted on USA Rice Instagram and Facebook accounts in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Turkey. One video that included a lamb meat and rice recipe has already received more than 27,000 views.
"People in the region are practicing social distancing, staying close to home, and spending more time on the internet," said Eszter Somogyi, USA Rice director, Europe, Middle East, and Africa promotions. "Consequently, social media is more important than ever before, and USA Rice aims to take advantage of this trend by posting more frequent, inspiring content on USA Rice channels in the weeks to come."