Jan 23, 2023
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – Yesterday, marked the start of the Chinese New Year, leaving the Year of Tiger behind and entering into the Year of the Rabbit. The Lunar New Year is one of the biggest celebrations in Asia and the Asian diaspora, and heralds fresh starts and the renewal of prosperity, happiness, and health.
Celebrations can last a couple of weeks, but only the first seven days are considered a public holiday when people gather and share food with rice as a major ingredient. USA Rice stepped up promotional activities for the occasion, specifically targeting the Chinese community in the UK who are big consumers of U.S.-grown rice.
Throughout January, several locally available U.S. rice brands teamed up with USA Rice on promotional efforts including an advertising campaign in the Asian Trader, a major UK print publication with both print and digital reach; large format in-store branding installments at Chinese wholesalers and retail stores; plus advertising and activities on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and search pages like Google.
“We welcome the many local U.S. rice brands joining us to celebrate Chinese New Year,” said Eszter Somogyi, USA Rice director Europe, Middle East and Africa. “The Chinese sector remains one of the most important segments for U.S. rice sales in the UK, and festivals and events are an important part of that culture, allowing USA Rice to interact and increase awareness and sales for U.S. rice.”
The UK is the single largest U.S. rice export market in Europe, importing approximately 30,000 MT each year of long, medium, and short grain, as well as wild rice. Diverse market segments here, including Chinese, Afro-Caribbean, Japanese, and Korean as well as the mainstream retail market are all consumers of different types of U.S. rice and that creates opportunity for further growth in all these segments.
“In Chinese culture, the rabbit is considered the luckiest of the 12 zodiac animals, representing peace and longevity, and the new year is predicted to be optimistic,” said Somogyi. “Building on that very positive outlook, we look forward to working with all our partners in the UK and beyond, to make 2023 a great year for U.S. rice.”