Dongying’s Homegrown Brand Gains Popularity
Dongying, a coastal city in East China’s Shandong province is where the Yellow River flows into the Bohai Sea. The Yellow River estuary is a prime living environment for hairy crabs due to its alkaline water levels, luxuriant aquatic plants and abundant shrimp population as well as the rich microelements such as phosphate and zinc, which are beneficial to hairy crabs.
The excellent ecology of the Yellow River estuary breeds the unique quality and ultra-high nutritional value that hairy crabs need to survive. The Yellow River estuary hairy crabs have gradually developed into a renowned homegrown brand in Dongying thanks to the local government’s promotional efforts.
"Our hairy crabs used to be unknown to people and we could only provide primary products or sell them out of season, with low benefits," said Li Zijun, director of the Kenli district marine and fishery bureau.
To reverse the situation, Kenli district has been striving to promote brand building by hosting hairy crab food festivals, taste contests and promotional conferences across the country. More efforts have been made to cooperate with internet media platforms to increase the awareness of hairy crabs.
In 2008, the hairy crabs in the Yellow River estuary have been certified as a national geographical indication product, with an increasing brand value of 2.62 billion yuan ($369.6 million). The crabs have become one of the most influential regional public brands of aquatic products in China.
"In the past, we used to sell the hairy crabs by the catty, but now we sell by numbers. Orders for hairy crabs are booming with the arrival of autumn," said Wang Xinjun, chairman of Dongying Huize Agricultural Technology Co.
According to Wang, the Hengsheng Agricultural Technology Co and Huize Agricultural Technology Co, two aquatic product retailers in the district, have obtained export permission to four countries and regions including Singapore and Malaysia.
While improving the brand and influence, the sales model of the Yellow River estuary hairy crab has also achieved a marketing breakthrough on online and offline channels. The hairy crabs are popular in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin, and in the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.