There are marketing boards for almost every agricultural product in the U.S. The larger boards you might be familiar with thanks to memorable national campaigns — like the Dairy Board (Got Milk?), the Pork Board (The Other White Meat) and the Egg Board (The Incredible Egg).

You might be less familiar with the smaller boards like the Cherry Marketing Institute, National Mango Board, the Popcorn Board and here in Maine, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. Established in 2013, the MLMC provides marketing and promotional support for the industry and the variety of Maine Lobster products available to consumers.

So what does the MLMC actually do? For eight years, we’ve been working closely with lobstermen and dealers/processors to promote Maine Lobster and the industry as a whole. We’ve educated and inspired consumers through PR campaigns, advertising, and community outreach—all with the goal of getting more people to choose Maine Lobster. We also provide lobster sellers with tools like recipes, videos, and fact sheets to promote their product, as well as ensuring buyers are easily able to find the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions.

Sustainability efforts to be proud of

An integral component of the Maine Lobster fishery has always been the measures lobstermen have taken to ensure the health of the lobster resource and the ocean environment. Thanks to those measures, the Maine Lobster fishery is a model of sustainability and has been since the 1800s.

With growing interest in where food comes from and how it’s sourced, part of the Collaborative’s work is to educate consumers on the fishery’s sustainability efforts and the importance of protecting the lobster stock and marine environment as a whole.

A versatile ingredient

When the pandemic hit, the MLMC knew our efforts needed to align with the new realities of the industry and the world. With restaurants closed, we focused on reaching home cooks and retailers, showcasing how easy to prepare and versatile Maine Lobster can be.

This year, the MLMC worked with a culinary firm to develop new product concepts with the goal of bringing more value per lobster harvested. The concepts featured Maine Lobster in unexpected formats like Maine Lobster cream cheese, Maine Lobster French fries and Maine Lobster biscuits.

As research showed that consumers would purchase more Maine Lobster if it were available, we will work with food manufacturers and product developers to get more products on shelves featuring the iconic shellfish.

Maintaining consumer confidence in Maine lobster

Another important role for the MLMC is protecting the reputation of Maine Lobster and ensuring the industry’s perspective is shared around a bevy of issues.

Recent coverage and conversation around the protection of the North Atlantic right whales, for example, means an increased need to share the industry’s efforts over decades to make gear safer for whales while also preserving the way of life for Maine fishermen. In June, the MLMC conducted a nationwide broadcast and radio tour that reached more than 25 million consumers sharing the industry’s commitment to sustainability and the importance of the Maine Lobster fishery to the communities.

Learn more about our efforts by visiting rightwhalesandmainelobster.com.

The Maine Lobster fishery is a beloved and intrinsic part of Maine. It supports coastal communities, attracts tourists, and supplies local restaurants and retailers. We look forward to continued efforts to promote Maine Lobster, including celebrating our seventh annual National Lobster Day Sept. 25 and our first ever Maine Lobster Week happening Sept. 19 to 25 (learn more at MaineLobsterWeek.com).

The MLMC is working daily to support the efforts of Maine lobstermen and dealers, but everyone can join that support by enjoying Maine Lobster, and in turn supporting the hard working individuals who bring the iconic product from sea to table.