The Fiordland Lobster Company is New Zealand’s largest exporter of live rock lobster, accounting for around one third of New Zealand’s live lobster exports. The company’s key market is China, where lobster is particularly popular for wedding banquets.
The NZTE team in China has been working closely with Fiordland for a number of years to build their ‘Kiwi Lobster’ brand and to become more resilient by exploring emerging trends, business models and channels. Fiordland has been innovating with how they can maintain their brand profile throughout the supply chain. For example, they have developed online content and begun using QR tags on live lobsters to maintain the Kiwi Lobster brand and so that consumers can verify authenticity.
The e-commerce market in China is vibrant with new online to offline models (O2O) emerging. NZTE's Shanghai based Business Development Manager, Serene Deng, helped Fiordland to ‘get networked’ and understand new trends. Fiordland has begun experimenting with new O2O models, and with new channels targeting new consumer groups. New Zealand lobster is the best, but there are substitute products out there. In response to price fluctuations, NZTE's Market Analyst, Ada Wang, helped Fiordland to analyse data to understand competitor’s activities and to show how this may influence price.
Fiordland is now looking to diversify their distribution beyond the greater Shanghai region. In partnership with NZTE's Business Development Managers, Joyce Liu in Beijing, and Vera Chen in Chengdu and Joseph Li in Guangzhou, they have been exploring opportunities in new areas in northern, southern and western China.
E-commerce is booming – become a trusted brand
- Chinese consumers are looking for trust and authenticity.
- Chinese shoppers do extensive research before making buying online: 61 percent of online consumers start their product research on an e-commerce platform.
- Provenance is key: consumers need to be able to trust in an authentic product and its supply chain.
- Keep it local: this means products, packaging, payment, and brand stories that resonate.