Using ATP and MAP Funds, USA Rice carried out the Piensa en Arroz (Think Rice) 2021 campaign, which focused on three pillars: promote and increase the consumption of rice in Costa Rica, highlight the main properties of rice- nutrition, economy, and versatility – and promote American rice for the manufacturers of nutritional and economical foods.
Piensa en Arroz was carried out through merchandising at the point of sale, public relations (Influencers and micro-influencers) and a digital campaign. The main messages focused on informing consumers on the nutritional benefits of rice consumption through recipes, tips and tricks and educating them on the economical value of the grain for daily consumption.
The in-store component focused on promoting nutritionists who highlighted the importance of rice consumption in the daily diet. QR codes were also utilized to guide consumers to online resources: www.piensaenarroz.com.
Intergló Success Story, Costa Rica:
The Think Rice campaign captured the interest of many importers and brands that source U.S. origin rice in Central America. Intergló, a Costa Rican rice importer and manufacturer which supplies the Arroz Indiana brand, sourced from the U.S. for private label products in Walmart stores, saw value in the USA Rice promotion.
Intergló lamented that the packing process resulted in a substantial number of broken rice grains which were previously discarded or marketed as “sub-products”. They had the vision of processing the brokens to produce flour and premixes (doughs, pancakes, pizzas and multi-purpose) made from 100% U.S.-origin rice due to its superior color and quality.
In May 2021, Intergló launched Don Cesar Rice Flour and premixes in Walmart stores. The 2021 Think Rice campaign in Costa Rica had a budget of $26,000 to carryout a robust digital and in-store strategy to promote U.S. origin rice around the country, utilizing influencers, social media and partnerships with local grocery chains. The Don Cesar rice flour products and Indiana Rice brand were incorporated into the existing Think Rice campaign from May to September 2021, with promotional materials in-store, as well as digital support on Facebook and Instagram. The promotion resulted in an average of 800 Don Cesar rice flour products sold per month in Walmart stores.
Due to the great success that Intergló had with the Don Cesar brand, they created the Hariana brand for other supermarkets in Costa Rica that are not Walmart to reach more consumers. The Hariana brand premixes currently sell an average of 1,200 units per month.
In 2021, Intergló imported 12,000 tons of U.S. rice, valued at approximately $5.2 million (mainly paddy rice), compared to 10,000 tons, valued at approximately $4.4 million in 2020 . They are currently in the process of registering premixes for export to Guatemala and El Salvador, and USA Rice will promote their U.S. products there as well.