THE world’s biggest salmon farmer is in its usual position in Hall 5 of the Brussels seafood expo, but the stand looks somewhat different this year, with the name ‘Marine Harvest’ replaced by ‘Mowi’.
Mowi’s new branding exercise has been a ‘great success’ so far, according to Ola Helge Hjetland, group communications director.
The first MOWI own label premium products are on sale in more than 300 stores in Poland, and the change of name, from Marine Harvest, last autumn has been well received.
The decision to launch the Mowi brand in Poland was partly based on the company’s existing infrastructure in the country, where it has sizeable processing operations.
The special MOWI Pure range of cold smoked and fresh portions is sourced from selected farms in Norway, with selected breeds, and selected feed.
The brand was launched first in the food service market and last month the consumer brand was introduced into four big retail chains in Poland, where it has been a huge success with customers.
More products will be added in the coming months, although no date has been announced yet for the roll out of the brand to other countries.
Hjetland said Mowi had done a lot of in-store promotions in Poland and people were willing to buy the higher priced products.
‘The big set up we have in Poland is an advantage for us, both with the factories but also with the marketing and sales departments and a very good crew in Poland,’ said Hjetland.
‘But it’s also a different market to the northern European markets so it’s a good market to test the product.’
He said they eat less fish and the market is less developed than the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, or the Netherlands.
‘It is a good test for us as well in the way we will set up marketing differently in all the different markets.
‘the branding and packaging will be the same but the way we approach the consumers might change from market to market.’
The MOWI brand will remain a premium product when it is launched in other markets, but there will be more ready to eat products, such as sushi.
The rebranding of the company has gone ‘even smoother than we could have hoped for’, said Hjetland.
Mowi is a very familiar name to many stakeholders, he said, as it was the original name of the company when it started in 1964.
‘The story around the name change, people get that…and connecting the company name to this major brand launch is something people see as exciting.’
Hjetland acknowledged that the change to Mowi might make less sense for those who don’t know its background, but he believes it presents a good opportunity for the company, ‘making people aware of our heritage and our history’