As per latest information available, it has been indicated that USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward and Regional Director Hartwig Schmidt recently conducted trade visits to update the UK rice trade on the current U.S. rice supply situation. It has been noted that approximately 90 percent of U.S. long grain rice sales here for the service of ethnic sector, but there is an increasing competition from European and Thai origins based on price. Further, it has been indicated that since now seeing basmati prices dropping enough that consumers are sometimes willing to give it a try in place of U.S. long grain as it has been said by Ward after meeting with major retailers. The good news is that now there is an unparalleled reputation for quality, consistency, food safety, and sustainability. The task at hand will be doing more to promote these facts to consumers.
According to Ward, that USA Rice conducts several promotional activities in the ethnic sector throughout the year here and those importers of U.S. rice she met with offered valuable suggestions on additional promotions that should be considered to increase U.S. rice sales. Few meetings with rice buyers in the industrial sector revealed the potential for reintroducing U.S. rice to this high volume market segment who appreciate the consistency and high quality of U.S. long grain rice. It is through regular trade servicing and promotional activities that USA Rice, in cooperation with the UK trade, will get U.S. rice back on the retail shelves beyond just the ethnic markets. In spite of the tough competition, U.S long grain rice sales has been reported more than double as compared to last year, reaching over 18,000 MT in the period January-September 2015.