Mowi finds inspiration from Starbucks in its new brand range for retail

Aslak Berge

“Our goal is to de-commoditise the salmon category”. CEO Ivan Vindheim will differentiate Mowi salmon from its competitors.

Stepping into the role and up to speed, this winter Ivan Vindheim took over the job as CEO of the 450,000-tonne a year Mowi.

“We have divided the business into three divisions; feed, farming and consumer products. After opening our new factory in Kyleakin, Scotland, we are self-supplied with feed in Europe. We have a production capacity of 600,000 tonnes. This year we will produce 550,000 tonnes,” said Vindheim.

“We have sales operations, and employees, in 25 countries. We have 28 processing plants,” he added.

Salmon is salmon
“To a large extent, the salmon market is commoditised, for most customers, a salmon is a salmon. We will change this. We believe that there are segments that will pay more for the products they are offered”.

‘It was part of the motivation to change Mowi’s company name. Marine Harvest, harvesting from the sea, does not sound good to English speakers,” he said.

“Mowi had everything we could want for a brand name. It was short, it had the name of our entrepreneur and our breeding stock. The change of name gave the brand commitment more weight and affiliation. Our goal is to de-commoditise the salmon category,” said Vindheim.

The job will be demanding. But it’s been done before, including by an American coffee giant.

“We think what Starbucks has done in the coffee market is a good example of de-commoditizing. We do not want to become Starbucks, we are Mowi, with it being a good guiding star”.

But see many good arguments for having a brand of their own.

“Branding can provide a competitive advantage, it generates customer loyalty, gives higher margins, drives category growth and protects the category’s reputation,” he continued.

With today’s technology, the brand also developed app traceability on the mobile phone.

Mowi launched the brand in France on March 1. And then, March 15, in the US, along with partners Amazon Fresh.

“This is a long journey for us. De-commoditizing of the sector will take a good while. But this is our ultimate goal,” added Vindheim.