Although Maine’s lobstermen and women make their living catching lobster, they also have strong opinions …
Our Shifting Strategy: Differentiating Maine Lobster within the Supply Chain
As we approach peak season, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative is gearing up to expand the work we’ve been doing to drive awareness and demand for Maine Lobster in new and exciting directions.
Our 2019 plan is based on expanding our efforts to include the entire supply chain, without losing focus on the areas where we’ve had success over the past several years – educating chefs and consumers on Maine New Shell Lobster, and sharing what makes it the best tasting, sweetest, most ‘lobstery’ lobster in the world.
Since the MLMC was formed in 2013, our marketing efforts have focused on creating preference for Maine lobster among chefs and consumers. As that preference increased, and as chefs began to ask for Maine Lobster by name, we identified a need for education within the supply chain in order to ensure that everyone seeking out our product is able to get it. We want to ensure wholesalers and processers are fluent in how lobster is shipped, handled, and prepared – and that they know what makes Maine Lobster unique.
In 2019, we will broaden our focus to the entire supply chain – continuing to promote live lobster as well as value-added products.
To kick off our efforts, we conducted rigorous research to uncover how to best share our story with the key players in the supply chain. With that data in hand, knowing what the audience is most passionate about, we will release a variety of content that addresses their specific needs and areas of interest including preparation, storing, and handling. We’ll also highlight what makes Maine Lobster unique with content about New Shell and our unparalleled sustainability practices.
We’ll also be unveiling our new Content Hub – an information portal where those selling Maine Lobster can download educational materials, images and videos to help educate their customers on the benefit of using our products.
Throughout the summer we’ll be highlighting our products through media storytelling in important trade outlets as well as food and lifestyle publications. We’ll also continue our chef education program by participating in ChefsFeed – an event that provides dining and drinking inspiration to top chefs from around the country.
Marketing, of course, is only one of the challenges facing the lobster industry in 2019. Our remit is to promote Maine Lobster as a product while also protecting the reputation of the industry at large, and as we work hard to execute the plan laid out here, we will also be communicating closely with people from all across the industry to prepare for looming issues like the right whale regulations and bait shortage.
We’re excited to charge ahead this year with our new plan and expanded efforts across the supply chain. Look to this website and to the MLMC’s social media channels for more updates on how we’re spreading the love of Maine Lobster far and wide.
By Marianne LaCroix