Big is beautiful in the rice market at the moment. Veetee Rice marketing director Lorena Golfetto says 20kg rice sacks have seen the biggest sales increase out of all pack sizes in the last year. "Sales have risen by an astonishing 596.4% [52 w/e 20 May 01 Information Resources]. Everyone has trouble believing it, but it's because multiples such as Tesco, Asda and Safeway have introduced large packs in selected stores as part of their policy to provide local ethnic communities with products that they need. Asian families in particular are very big rice consumers and buy in bulk. Sales are also increasing for 10kg and 5kg, a size that's more geared to mainstream consumers." Pillow packs are the preferred format in the ethnic market because bulk quantities can be merchandised and stored easily. "Block bottoms don't work," says Golfetto. For the mainstream market, Veetee has revamped its packaging with metallic block bottom packs for its Supreme Basmati in 500g, 1kg and 2kg and for Thai Jasmine in 1kg. They have resealable tags and a transparent window. "Our consumer research showed shoppers want to see the rice to judge its quality before they buy," explains Golfetto. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}