Simon Warburton: “We anticipate shaping the future together with our travel retail industry colleagues, and given the current situation, this cost-effective innovative approach is most welcome”

INTERNATIONAL. Japan Tobacco International (JTI) has become the latest Platinum Partner for the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo in October.

JTI Worldwide Duty Free General Manager Simon Warburton expressed his excitement at taking part in the industry’s first digital initiative on this scale. He said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to connect with our partners, and will focus our attention on discussion, ideas and innovations that drive as swift a recovery as possible.

“We are starting to see early evidence of a strong and resilient tobacco category which we believe will form a cornerstone of the recovery.

“We look forward to the opportunity to continue to engage across the Trinity, and share information, not only related to our category but to support the whole duty free industry. We anticipate shaping the future together with our travel retail industry colleagues, and given the current situation, this cost-effective innovative approach is most welcome.”

The JTI portfolio includes nine of the world’s leading tobacco brands. In 2018 they accounted for over 68% of the company’s sales, driving a 14% global market share. Winston is the world’s number two international brand, while Mevius, previously called Mild Seven, is the leading cigarette brand in Japan and the JT Group’s leading brand in Asia.

Other prominent global labels include Camel, LD, Benson & Hedges, Natural American Spirit, Sobranie, Glamour, and Silk Cut. The group is also experiencing much success with heated tobacco brand Ploom and e-cigarette brand Logic.

The Virtual Travel Retail Expo begins on 12 October with a 5-day ‘live’ event followed by a 30-day showcase (click here to register), just after the conclusion of the Chinese Golden Week holidays. It features a star-studded series of activities across the five days, including a Symposium, category workshops and a new consumer research initiative.

JTI controls a star-studded global, regional and national portfolio

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie said: “We are honoured to have JTI join us on our virtual journey. JTI has been at the forefront of many compelling brand and channel initiatives in recent years, epitomised by its ‘The Future of Brands’ programme in 2018 which underlined the need to raise awareness of extreme regulation. It has also been a leader in the rapid evolution of reduced-risk products (RRPs), and of course it boasts a portfolio featuring some of the world’s best-known tobacco brands: from globally renowned labels such as Winston, Mevius, Camel and LD, to outstanding new RRPs, and local brands with strong national or regional followings.

“The Virtual Travel Retail Expo has now gained extraordinary momentum and we are determined to deliver a world-class event together with our world-class partners such as JTI.”

The countdown to travel retail’s first Virtual Expo continues