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John Sauve to Facilitate Transition to New Maine Lobster Marketing Era

John Sauve

John Sauve, managing partner of the Portland-based Food and Wellness Group, and a veteran of over 40-years in the corporate and commodity sectors of the food industry, will guide the transition of Maine Lobster brand marketing into a new and more aggressive era targeting increased global demand.

The new effort begins officially in October with the replacement of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council by a new marketing entity, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC), established by the recently passed Maine Lobster marketing bill.

Sauve’s involvement was initiated by Patrick Keliher, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, to ensure that the transition will go smoothly and that the members of the MLMC will have the information they require to implement new Maine Lobster marketing programs as quickly as possible.

Sauve will compile and analyze existing Maine Lobster marketing and branding research. Using these materials, Sauve will assist the MLMC in the creation of a three-year Strategic and Operating Marketing Plan which will be presented to the Legislature in January 2014.

“This is an exciting time in the Maine Lobster industry,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The Maine Lobster marketing bill has set the stage for a global marketing effort that will increase the demand necessary to support this vital segment of Maine’s economy.”

Sauve brings a wealth of leadership experience in strategic business and marketing counsel in the food service industries. In addition to leading the marketing efforts of the Wild Blueberry Association of North America (Maine and Canada) for the last 20 years, Sauve’s experience includes recent work for the Maine Lobster Advisory Council.

In 2011 Sauve worked with the Council to develop and communicate a marketing-focused approach that would address the ongoing issues of supply, demand, and industry profitability, with increased boat price being the primary objective. The marketing initiative was called Project Maine Lobster and became the basis for the structure and funding for the new MLMC.

“I’m pleased to have a professional with John’s depth of knowledge and experience directing this crucial phase in the new marketing effort for Maine Lobster,” said Commissioner Keliher

In addition to leading the development of the new three-year Marketing Plan, Sauve will assist the MLMC in its search and selection of a new advertising and promotion agency, and help create a new management and operating structure for the MLMC.

Sauve’s work will take place from August 2013 through January 2014. The decision regarding long-term staffing for the MLMC, including the Executive Director, will be made by the MLMC when they commence their work.

“I’m grateful for the hard work and commitment of the MLPC board and staff,” said Commissioner Keliher. “They’ve provided a strong foundation for this transition.

“This transition to a new marketing era is a major milestone in the long and storied history of Maine Lobster,” said Commissioner Keliher. “John’s work will begin immediately as I want to ensure that the MLMC can hit the ground running.”