Australian lobster firm reaches out directly to Chinese consumers to secure premium prices

Published on
September 5, 2017

A leading exporter of Australian lobsters is trying to reach out directly to China’s consumers with a campaign on two leading e-commerce sites aimed at distinguishing its lobsters on price and image from cheaper Boston lobster imports.

Brolos, the brand of the Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative, has opened stores on leading Chinese e-tailers JD.com and Tmall.com and hired “key opinion leaders” as part of a social media marketing campaign, according to company marketing officer Joanne He. She says the company wants to make consumers understand why its lobsters are priced much higher than other imports.

“We explain that we are wild-caught lobsters and don’t breed them like others. We are MSC-certified. We also explain how our quantities are much lower than Boston lobster,” she said.

Australian western rock lobsters retail at up to three times the price of Boston (a broad term sometimes also applied to Canadian lobster) lobster in China, He said. 

“We are a premium lobster at the high-end,” He said. “We don’t want to be Boston lobsters – we are not as low in price as them.”

While the company has to date relied on B2B sales for its shipments of 4,000 tons per year to China, it’s now also trying to tap the private household market. Among the Chinese online opinion leaders engaged by Brolos, through a local PR firm, is Xiao Bao, a winner on the Master Chef China TV show. 

“We are trying really hard to communicate…our emphasis now [online] is to build the brand, then we can focus on pushing sales,” He said.

The company’s lobsters are currently sold online for delivery to consumers in the three leading cities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.   

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