Sep 15, 2023
CAP-HAITIEN, HAITI – Haiti’s second-largest city, located on the country’s northern coast, embodies a vibrant fusion of history and progress, and is considered the cultural capital of Haiti. Located 125 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the city is not experiencing the turmoil readers are familiar with in Haiti's capital. Recent USA Rice promotions there were timed to coincide with Cap-Haitien’s annual patron saint celebration that attracts thousands of visitors to the city.
“USA Rice partnered with Bongu Rice, one of the largest brands of U.S. rice, in a promotion strategy that combines a one-year billboard campaign with active participation in the Okap Flavors Food Festival,” said Asiha Grigsby, USA Rice director of international promotion for the Western Hemisphere. “Bongu supported the promotion with a thirty percent contribution, ensuring that their brand of U.S.-origin rice received prominent exposure in the community.”
Thirteen billboards have been placed in high traffic areas around Cap-Haitien where an estimated one million people will see them throughout the next year until August 2024.
Okap Flavors Food Festival, which took place in mid-August, is a fusion of music, dance, and culinary culture. Renowned social media influencer @RosieCookArt was there representing Bongo Rice and sharing her acclaimed "Rice and Lalo" dish, a specialty from the Gonaives area that garnered enthusiastic feedback.
@RosieCookArt also engaged in direct distribution of branded materials at the street level. This hands-on approach enabled USA Rice to support the local community and gain valuable insights into the pivotal role rice plays in the daily activities of “machann manje kwit,” the local street vendors.
The Okap event was featured on the social media pages of @USARICEHaiti, @SakapFetOkap, and @RosieCookart. Consumer engagement on the USA Rice social media platform saw a 70 percent increase during the campaign period, compared to the previous month, and resulted in a total of 600 new followers on Instagram and Facebook.
“The USA Rice partnership with Bongu propelled American rice into the spotlight during a big, local celebration that attracts a diverse audience,” said Grigsby. “Through direct engagement with consumers and local merchants, a genuine connection was established with the community, making U.S. rice part of the Cap-Haitien culinary culture.”