Market the product & build a brand – clean, green (& cool?)
Speaking at a ‘Shellfish Futures 2006‘ course on market competitiveness, in Orford recently, vegetable industry activist Richard Bovill commented on the similarity between the vegetable and shellfish industries.
The shellfish industry needs to market itself as top-quality, selling oysters as an experience, not as a food, says Richard. He pointed out that he could eat 12 oysters each week, but only eats that amount three times a year…so, there’s an obvious area for growth. He also made the point that brand building was important, around Tasmania’s clean, green image.
Determined viticulturists in Tassie’s relatively young wine industry have overcome the “You can’t grow grapes….it’s too cold..” approach of some ‘experts’ and now have 28 major wineries. Though Tas. only produces a small percentage of Australian wine, they have secured 10 per cent of the premium and ultra premium bottled wine market, according to the James Halliday Top 100 Wines (The Australian 11-12 Nov 06).
This small group of growers has introduced new varieties such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris to the market and their focus on the ’boutique, low-yield, high quality’ end of the market has helped them avoid the national wine glut.
It seems the industry faces two trends right now:
Question: Does Tas. aim for high quality wines with a premium price or move into broad-acre planting and high volumes of fruit to keep costs down and produce a ‘commodity wine’?
Some ‘outside the square thinking’ – Halliday says the industry has acknowledged the need to improve marketing and is considering breaking with the mainland and joining New Zealand in marketing the three islands as the southern hemisphere’s ‘cool climate region’.
A fork in the road for the industry – are the parties talking I wonder?