PEI

Lobster P.E.I. plans virtual events, cooking campaigns for 2021

From convincing more Canadians to cook lobster at home to attending virtual trade shows, Lobster P.E.I. is changing its approach to marketing the Island’s famous crustacean. 

‘A good opportunity for people to try that at-home cooking’

With fewer people eating out, Lobster P.E.I. published recipes and resources in 2020 to convince Canadians that cooking lobster at home could be easy and delicious. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

From convincing more Canadians to cook lobster at home to attending virtual trade shows, Lobster P.E.I. is changing its approach to marketing the Island's famous crustacean during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The marketing board, which represents the province's lobster fishers, had to switch focus in 2020 and will continue to navigate selling lobster in a world where many people are not dining in restaurants. 

A big part of its campaign last year was helping people feel more comfortable cooking lobster themselves. 

"When we look into markets such as, you know, Toronto and western Canada, we've done some consumer research there that says … they're a little intimidated about cooking a lobster," Charlotte Campbell, marketing director for Lobster P.E.I., told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.

"They don't know how, or they don't know how to get the meat out. So it's really important for us to … eliminate and remove those barriers so people, you know, aren't intimidated to cook with it," said Campbell.  

Lobster P.E.I. launched its first Lobster Love promotion last summer as a way to boost the local economy, as well as a lobster roll contest at Toronto restaurants. (John Robertson/CBC)

The organization created new recipes to inspire people who may have been cooking lobster at home for the first time. 

"You don't just have to enjoy it whole," said Campbell. "You can put it on tacos, make wraps with it, you know, make a lobster bisque."

Lobster P.E.I. also created some new initiatives in 2020, including the Island's first Lobster Love promotion, and a similar promotion in Toronto restaurants called Lobster Roll Call. 

"All these people who normally would travel to the island, we kind of brought the lobster roll to them," said Campbell. 

Harder to find buyers at virtual trade shows 

The group attended some virtual events in 2020, and will have its first virtual trade show next month. 

"I think the limitation with that is you really miss out on that foot traffic coming by your booth and that overall exposure that you would get by having thousands of people walking by each day," said Campbell. 

Some events, however, work with virtual matchmakers who can help sellers find the right kind of clients.

"They can kind of help scout out some of those people who would be best to meet with. So that's been helpful," Campbell said.

More from CBC P.E.I. 

With files from Island Morning

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