Apr 14, 2021
MIDDLE EAST REGION -- The Holy Month of Ramadan started earlier this week and this year lasts until May 12, or from one sighting of the crescent moon during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar until the next. Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. The common practice is to fast from dawn to sunset, and after sunset, families break the fast with the Iftar meal, traditionally opening the meal by eating dates.
During the Iftar, families and friends gather to dine and spend time together, eating a variety of traditional dishes and sweets, many of which contain rice. Not surprisingly, rice consumption increases in the few weeks before and during Ramadan, providing a great opportunity to boost awareness and sales of U.S.-grown rice.
Over the past few weeks, USA Rice has teamed up with several importers and initiated promotional activities in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, and Turkey designed to run until the end of May. In Jordan, outdoor media advertising is appearing on LED screens, billboards, and major bridges in Amman coupled with radio advertising by two local U.S. rice brands. In Saudi Arabia, in cooperation with a major local U.S. rice brand, point of sale materials have been installed at major hypermarkets to increase visibility and sales. In the West Bank, in-store promotions are running in conjunction with radio and outdoor advertising by three different local U.S. rice brands.
In addition to traditional advertising, USA Rice continues to build a strong social media presence in the region, posting relevant content on Jordanian, Saudi, and Turkish social media platforms.
Concern for the needy is one of the five pillars of Islam given special consideration during Ramadan, and as a show of support for the practice of social responsibility, USA Rice and two U.S. rice importers in Jordan recently made a donation of 5 MT of U.S. rice to the Mabarrat Um Al Hussein orphanage, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service post in Amman.
“Ramadan is an important time of spiritual reflection and also time for families to come together and celebrate,” said Eszter Somogyi, USA Rice director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. “As U.S. rice has become well-known and popular in countries throughout the region, used daily by consumers that trust its high quality and great taste, it is important that USA Rice reciprocates that commitment by engagement with local communities.”