TBWA\C\D Debuts Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice

NEW YORK Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day is preparing an ad push for Uncle Ben’s new Ready Rice, the client confirmed.

The Playa del Rey, Calif., agency was unavailable for comment.

The Ready Rice line, shipping this month, includes varieties such as roasted chicken, whole-grain brown and Spanish style. A national integrated push will garner “significant” marketing dollars, said Bryan Crowley, senior brand manager for Uncle Ben’s, Los Angeles, a unit of Masterfoods USA. Crowley declined to specify spending for TV, print and trade promotions efforts that will kick off in the first quarter.

“This rice is designed to go from pantry to plate in 90 seconds,” said Crowley. “Even instant rices need ten minutes to prepare. You can’t beat the convenience.”

Crowley said the rices have been successful in England and Canada, where they were marketed as Express Rice. The rices also can be consumed directly from the pouch and used as an addition to room-temperature salad.

Glossy orange packaging graphics, via DuPuis Design Group, Los Angeles, dials up the “balance between quality taste and its in-the-pouch preparation,” said John Silva, vice president and creative director at DuPuis, to stand out on-shelf from dry rice rivals such as Lipton and Carolina Rice.

Uncle Ben’s expects the pre-cooked, shelf-stable product to generate some excitement in the sleepy rice category.