PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Lobster industry has much to celebrate after wrapping up a successful marketing campaign in 2016, which saw increased online engagement, media mentions and Maine Lobster menu mentions. Founded in 2013, with the aim to grow awareness for Maine Lobster, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) strives to bring the story of the industry to chefs, media and consumers nationwide, and it is clear that the Collaborative's efforts have been fruitful.
"To Mainers, Maine Lobster is part of our livelihood and ingrained in our heritage. One of our challenges has been sharing that story we know so well with chefs, consumers and media nationwide to compel them to choose Maine Lobster over other proteins," said Matt Jacobson, Executive Director of the MLMC. "Our story has not only resonated with chefs, but also with media who are constantly craving a success story like the Maine Lobster industry's to share with their readers.
In 2016, the MLMC worked with editors and producers at a variety of outlets such as Food & Wine, Cooking Light, and "Morning Joe," to bring the story of Maine Lobster to their audiences. These efforts helped contribute to more than one billion earned media impressions – exposing the Maine Lobster story to one billion potential readers, viewers and listeners. The MLMC surpassed its goal of 600 million media impressions by 132 percent.
With a complex supply chain, the MLMC focused efforts on end users – chefs and culinary influencers – to increase demand for Maine Lobster. Through a series of chef industry events in Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and New York City during peak season, the MLMC engaged 250 chefs directly. The events drove education about the Maine Lobster industry with attendance from lobstermen and industry ambassadors, while highlighting Maine New Shell Lobster and its culinary versatility – challenging them to reimagine Maine Lobster as a seasonal ingredient.
"It's imperative that as an industry we have the robust tools to tell a cohesive story around Maine Lobster. It's been great to see chefs in growth markets, like the ones targeted by the MLMC, connecting with Maine Lobster fishermen and respective sustainability messages. When we can educate end users about our industry and ultimately inspire creative menu applications – we all benefit," said Christina Ferranti, Marketing Director of East Coast Seafood.
With media coverage and menu mentions up, consumer awareness of Maine Lobster is also rising. More consumers are visiting www.LobsterfromMaine.com for content such as recipe inspiration and how-to content; site traffic increased by 79 percent this year, with how-to tutorials garnering a large share of page views. The Collaborative has also seen growth on social platforms specifically targeting their key audiences of chefs, media and consumers, with a 646 percent increase in reach.
"Last year was our first full year of funding, and it's great to see our efforts paying off," said Frank Gotwals, Chair of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. "We've always known that we have a great story to tell and seeing that come to life with chefs, media and consumers has been a great source of pride."
"We've set the bar high and can't wait to see what additional successes come in 2017," said Jacobson.
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. The industry has been self-regulating for more than 150 years and in 2013 achieved the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, allowing Maine Lobster to officially certify its long-standing sustainable practices. To learn more about the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative and Maine Lobster industry, visit www.lobsterfrommaine.com.
Source: The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative