Educating Our In-Market Representatives on Processed Lobster and Jonah Crab

Food Export–Northeast held webinars and live Q&A sessions for our In-Market Representatives to help educate them about processed lobster and Jonah Crab.

Food Export–Northeast regularly engages with its 19 In-Market Representatives globally working in European, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries to ensure they have the necessary information, support, and promotional materials to effectively market the seafood products unique to the Northeast United States.

Jonah crab, once considered an unwanted bycatch of the lobster industry, is now a growing and desirable fishery that has allowed lobstermen, particularly in Southern New England, to diversify their harvests as climate change pushes lobsters to colder Northern waters and more crabs fill their lobster traps. The number of Northeast companies processing lobster has significantly expanded over the past few years. Processing Jonah crab in their off season could increase company efficiencies and profitability. Expanding markets will provide strong support to this growing seafood industry sector.

Equipping In-Market Representatives with Knowledge

Food Export­–Northeast recently partnered with Emily Lane, President of Blue Lobster Consulting and an expert in international lobster and Jonah crab marketing, to develop two webinar trainings – one on processed lobster and the second on Jonah crab. The webinars were designed to educate on the value and key differentiators of the two products – showcasing harvesting practices and catch landing locations, processed product formats, and handling and nutritional information – in order to give our overseas team the knowledge to better promote the products with buyers.

The pre-recorded webinars were delivered to In-Market Representatives in regions where high interest in seafood products already exists. Food Export–Northeast hosted live virtual follow up Q&A sessions for In-Market Representatives. During those sessions, IMRs were able to ask Lane about the products and discuss resources for further identifying and developing market opportunities for the products with the Food Export–Northeast team.

Jonah Crab Webinar

The Q&A sessions yielded positive comments, including:

  • “Chefs are looking for products that are easy to prepare, such as processed lobster.” – European and Middle Eastern markets
  • “These products could be popular locally because consumers are seeking convenience foods that don’t take a lot of time to prepare.” – Asian markets

Next Steps for Engagement with In-Market Representatives

To complement the webinars and help In-Market Representatives build momentum and interest in these products in their markets, Food Export–Northeast is in the process of creating multimedia processed American lobster and Jonah crab toolkits for its In-Market Representatives to leverage. In-Market Representatives will conduct market scans for the products and product samples will be sent to interested key buyers. Food Export–Northeast may follow-up with chef seminars and product promotions at restaurants and retail outlets.

For more information on ways Food Export–Northeast can support the marketing of your Northeast US seafood products, please visit our website to learn more about our programs and services.

About Food Export USA – Northeast 

With its extensive programs and educational offerings, Food Export USA–Northeast (Food Export–Northeast) is recognized as the preeminent expert and cost-effective resource for Northeast seafood and agricultural suppliers looking to sell their products overseas. Founded in 1973, Food Export–Northeast is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with its 10 member states’ agricultural promotion agencies from Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, to facilitate trade between suppliers and worldwide importers and to promote the export of food, agricultural and seafood products from those states. Since its founding, the organization has helped Northeast seafood suppliers gain access to a broad range of export markets, supported overseas in-market educational and promotional programs and offers emerging suppliers access to funds to help grow their export business. The organization is funded through the Market Access Program (MAP), administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Learn more about us and what we do for the Northeast seafood industry here.  Contact us.