Dec 01, 2020
ARLINGTON, VA -- USA Rice held its annual meeting with the California Wild Rice Advisory Board and the Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council earlier today to discuss the 2020 wild rice marketing program and plans for 2021. On behalf of the wild rice industry, USA Rice receives $60,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP) to promote wild rice overseas. Last year, more than 9,000 tons of wild rice was grown in the U.S. and nearly 4,000 tons was exported to 37 countries worldwide.
“The United Kingdom (UK) is the largest export market for U.S. wild rice, bringing in about 15 percent of U.S. wild rice exports,” said Eszter Somogyi, USA Rice director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, who also manages the wild rice portfolio. “Over the past year, USA Rice has conducted UK retail promotions supporting local brands that source U.S. wild rice and identify U.S. origin, created social media posts to raise consumer awareness about U.S. wild rice, and promoted e-commerce sales, which has substantially increased in the UK in 2020.”
Recently, USA Rice teamed up with UK celebrity chef Peter Sidwell to produce recipe videos of all types of U.S. rice, including wild rice and wild rice/white rice mixes. These videos have been used in consumer and foodservice promotions to increase visibility and awareness of U.S. wild rice.
“In discussing promotion plans for 2021, the wild rice industry has decided to continue to focus efforts on the largest export market, the United Kingdom,” said Somogyi. “We will continue to engage with consumers and foodservice in the UK through digital media and retail promotions, and we are planning to work with the UK brands that source U.S. wild rice, seeking their commitment through both development of effective marketing plans and their financial contributions to the promotions.”