New USA Rice Research Shows Rice Messages Will Resonate with Consumers

Jun 23, 2015
"Yes sir, of course the rice is U.S.-grown!"
New USA Rice Consumer Research, waiter & patrons
ARLINGTON, VA – New USA Rice consumer research into attitudes towards rice, sustainability, and eating local indicate that rice’s ability to address all of these growing trends position the grain well.

When asked how important it is that the food they eat in restaurants be prepared with ingredients grown in the United States, 81 percent say “somewhat” or “very.”  But ask them if they’d be willing to pay more for it and only 54 percent say they probably or definitely would, and 12 percent say they definitely would not.

“We also asked respondents which they would choose as a side dish between rice, pasta, and potatoes,” said Michael Klein, USA Rice’s vice president of communications. “It was no surprise that potatoes won with 50 percent, but then we asked if they knew the rice was grown in the United States, would that make a difference?”

Klein thinks the 32 percent who said they would change their minds as a result is encouraging.

“We won’t dethrone potatoes as the king of the side with that, but we make good inroads – and it shows our good story is worth telling.  Consumers care about these things.”

The research also showed strong support for groceries that are grown sustainably (78 percent), although consumers reacted even more strongly when the word “sustainable” was replaced with “environmentally responsible” (84 percent).

Klein said more details of the study will be shared in the upcoming issue of the Whole Grain, due out in July, and that USA Rice would continue to track these attitudes now that they had established a benchmark.

Contact:  Deborah Willenborg (703) 236-1444