Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative Evolves Strategy

September 25, 2019

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Extensive review and evaluation yields new strategy for Maine Lobster

Portland, ME – September 25, 2019 – Following an extensive review of twenty agencies with specialized food expertise, the MLMC is adjusting its strategic campaign direction. The organization asked a wide range of food marketing experts to research and evaluate its strategy, including assessing the acceptance and recognition of its “Maine New Shell Lobster” branding.

At the end of the four-month review process, the MLMC decided to continue its work with global communications firm Weber Shandwick. The agency recommended an evolved strategy that focuses on the key product benefits of sweet flavor, sustainable sourcing and Maine origin, while recognizing that the new shell serves as an important indicator of seasonality.

These key benefits will be elevated through an integrated campaign of public relations, digital marketing, social media, trade partnerships and issues management. “We believe this is time to shift our focus to communicating the benefits of Maine lobster, with sweet flavor being the most prominent,” said Marianne LaCroix, executive director of the collaborative. “We’re confident that this evolved approach will help us address industry priorities in a refreshed way.”

Frank Gotwals, chairman of the MLMC Board of Directors and a Stonington-based Maine lobster harvester added, “An impressive amount of research was done by the agency to establish that, while we’ve made some good inroads in the foodservice market, we need to remind chefs why consumers love lobster so much.”

“Primary research and marketplace trend data highlighted the appeal of sweetness, as a flavor characteristic, as well as the consistently increasing consumer demand for sustainable sourcing practices and seasonal foods. These are Maine Lobster’s strengths,” said Gail Heimann, the agency’s CEO. Weber Shandwick and the MLMC will be focusing on value-driving and demand-enhancing ideas that build on the successes of the past while recognizing evolving industry priorities.

The 2020 marketing plan, which will be finalized and shared with the industry in the coming months, will extend the increased supply chain focus of the current 2019 plan, which features initiatives such as informational webinars for distributors and a library of digital materials available to industry sales and marketing teams. The agency has also provided extensive crisis counsel as the industry deals with the potential of increased regulation to protect right whales.

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About the MLMC

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC), founded in 2013, is funded by Maine Lobster harvesters, dealers and processors to grow demand, both for whole live lobster and a variety of value-added products. The MLMC supports that objective by promoting the core values of the Maine Lobster industry, which are sustainability and traceability that’s deeply rooted in tradition. Maine Lobster achieved the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification in 2013, allowing Maine Lobster to certify its long-standing sustainable practices. The industry has been self-regulating for more than 150 years.