INTERNATIONAL. Twelve high-class finalists were today named for The QDF Factor, an extraordinary industry competition to encourage innovation and differentiation among brand owners, with the winner set to capture a six-month listing at Qatar Duty Free’s award-winning retail offer in Hamad International Airport, Doha. The victor will also win a free six-month US$50,000 multi-media advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report.

The joint initiative between Qatar Duty Free and The Moodie Davitt Report, which attracted a rich and diverse array of entries, saw the short-list (below) announced today at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo, in advance of a ceremony on Friday that will reveal the ultimate winner.

Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh and The Moodie Davitt Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie announced the 12 exceptional brands and concepts during today’s final Knowledge Hub session at the Virtual Expo.

The 12 finalists are:

Ahmad Tea: A beautifully presented premium tea brand, with strong CSR credentials. This world-class collaboration combines four generations of tea knowledge with the beauty and heritage of Kew Gardens.

BeachyFeet: Offering clever designs for long-lasting, robust flip flops, the brand supports Save Our Seas and recycles old flip flops to create flooring for children’s playgrounds.

Creag Dhu: A single malt Speyside whisky with particularly strong CSR credentials to preserve the Scottish peatlands, nature’s great carbon store. It is the only drink brand in the world to issue an official Carbon Offset Certificate with every bottle.

Green Man Woodland Gin by Silent Pool Distillers: An eco-friendly gin distilled to capture the essence of the forests of Surrey, England, packed in premium looking cardboard bottles made from 94% recycled paper.

Margaret Dabbs: A skincare brand offering a luxurious range of treatments and products for feet, hands and legs, all made from responsibly-sourced ingredients.

Natinsa by Arnano: Originally designed to engrave elements for Swiss luxury watches, Natinsa has innovated the technology to create a way to preserve valuable, and emotionally valuable, information forever and pass it on to future generations. The judges remarked on the bespoke Qatar packaging.

Rosalie’s by Traveller’s Trove: A Belgian chocolate range with a powerful CSR mission of ‘loving kindness’ delivered through chocolates that are good for the planet, cocoa farmers and their children.

Self:  A 100% natural, 100& vegan Halal skincare product conceived by a mother for her daughter with eczema and developed into a range of beautifully packaged skincare products. Self is the first 100% vegan brand for sensitive and problem skin.

Theobroma Secret Cacao: A natural skincare brand with enriched natural formulas and outstanding synergetic properties, committed to providing clean beauty sustainably.

Dram in Can by Two Stacks: From a young company, determined to lead the new renaissance revival of Irish whiskey, Dram in a Can is an intriguingly disruptive new product.

UFO 2 by Foreo: This constantly innovative beauty tech and wellness brand does it again with this typically revolutionary skincare facemask device.

Wines of Golf Legends by Peuch & Besse: A beautifully presented collection of fine wines, blended with a uniquely innovative storytelling concept. It deploys QR code technology and pairs internationally-renowned golfers and their passion for the sport with world-class winemakers.

Martin Moodie emphasised the finalists’ strong focus on sustainability and giving back

Commenting, Martin Moodie said that he and Thabet Musleh were delighted with the number and quality of The QDF Factor entrants.

“A common theme,” he noted, “was Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in particular around sustainability and giving back to society and we were very encouraged by that.

“Our final line-up stood out by the way they specifically addressed the judging criteria, tailored their entries to the needs of Qatar Duty Free, and for their overall quality, point of difference and commercial viability in what is a unique travel retail location.”

He noted that The Moodie Davitt Report has introduced complementary advertising and editorial exposure for every nominee.

Musleh also noted the great number of entries across a range of categories. “Once again we have been really impressed with the quality and innovation of all the concepts that have been submitted,” he said.

“This year the entries have reflected the increased focus in travel retail on CSR at the moment with many products being vegan, sustainably sourced or supporting charitable causes and the environment. We had a very tough time shortlisting our finalists.”

The winner of the QDF Factor will be announced by Musleh at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo on Friday at 17:00 (SGT)/10:00 (BST).

The QDF Factor was first hosted in 2020 at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. It is open to all brands, both within and outside the travel retail channel.

Every QDF Factor entrant was profiled in a dedicated Moodie Davitt eZine before the final judging. Click here for access.

The entrants were assessed on a series of qualitative criteria, including:

  • Innovation: What does this product or concept offer that is unique, stands out from its competitors, and creates a talking point for retailer and consumer alike? What is its USP?
  • CSR: What additional social credentials does your product offer?
  • Presentation: What is compelling about the packaging? What makes it stand out on shelf? What consideration has been given to people and the planet?
  • Commercial viability: Who is your product targeted at? What makes it a winner? What is your pricing policy and (going forward) marketing approach?
  • Overall quality: Tell us about the R&D that went into your product, the quality of its ingredients/components.