Can you tell the difference between a lobster landed at a port in P.E.I. and one landed in New Brunswick or, for that matter, Maine? Probably not. They look alike crawling around in the lobster crate and, depending on how they are prepared, they taste the same on the plate.
But the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association is out to show the world that a P.E.I. lobster is special. It is special, of course, because of where it comes from, the cold, fresh waters that surround, arguably, the most beautiful place on earth.
Sure, it might taste similar to any other east coast lobster, but what the PEIFA is getting excited about is branding. Both the association and a buyer in France are convinced customers will be drawn to a Fisherman’s Brand lobster and will pay a premium for it.
Of course, it means the PEIFA and the French company will have to vigorously promote the brand and explain why it’s so special. It works for other products, such as Fair Trade coffee; it should work for a P.E.I. lobster.
The hope is that the brand will catch on and bring higher profits for P.E.I. fishermen and new markets for lobsters from this little province.
This could also be an opportunity to promote Prince Edward Island in France as a tourist destination. The PEIFA could make the P.E.I. lobster even more attractive by giving customers a chance to win a Prince Edward Island vacation, much like Sobeys and WP Griffin Inc. offered a chance to win a trip to P.E.I. and the Canadian Potato Museum in a February potato sales promotion.
What French tourist wouldn’t want to win a trip to P.E.I. where he could go out on a lobster boat and be treated to a special lobster feast right there, perhaps with Malpeque Harbour or West Point Lighthouse in the background?
This branding of P.E.I. lobster really could become a win-win for Prince Edward Island: It would help to improve demand and price for P.E.I. lobster while raising the profile of this province as an international tourist destination.