Grains of truth?

Posted by Steve on Feb 16th 2012 in: An Arabian adventure, Packaging around the world, Pasta & Rice

Rice sacks on shelf in Saudi Arabia

With well over 20 brands available in this store, Saudi rice consumers (penetration: close to 100%) are not short of choices.

Whilst these real sacks might stand out as incredibly natural and authentic on a European shelf, here they blur into one and feel quite cheap and generic.

More premium offers use elaborate print techniques to paint a picture of elegance, taste and (mainly Indian) tradition. Large size and clear separation of the rice grains is a recognised signal of quality, so photography tends to be something of an arms race: ‘my grains are bigger than your grains’.

Takeout: A truly mass (and massive) market with all kinds of packaging strategies on display: product superiority, meal appeal, authentic origin, as well as ‘just happy to be on the shelf’. Daawat’s design is tasteful enough to decorate a bedroom with, and ticks all my boxes.