Leading Swiss premium chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli is accelerating its expansion in travel retail with new shop-in-shops, corners and Pick & Mix counters across the channel, amid continuing evolution of the product range.

The company is building on double-digit sales growth in the business in the first half of 2017, according to Head of Global Duty Free Division Peter Zehnder.

He told The Moodie Davitt Report: “Regions that have outperformed this year include southern Europe, Latin America and North America, which now has new resources in place – we have a dedicated Sales Manager for the first time. The US has accelerated since, especially with partners such as International Shoppes and Dufry.”

Creating newness: The Lindt travel retail team of Miriam Richter and Peter Zehnder with Dermot Davitt at TFWA World Exhibition

New locations this year (already open or to come) for the Lindt Pick & Mix counter include Lagardère Travel Retail outlets at Paris Charles de Gaulle, Prague and Changi T4, as well as Ever Rich Duty Free and Dubai Duty Free in Concourse C by year-end. An updated Pick & Mix will follow at Qatar Duty Free in Q1 2018, with another unit at Beirut Duty Free, also early in the new year.

Shop-in-shop projects include several with Dufry, at London Heathrow T3, Zürich Airport (walk-through 1 and walk-through 2) and São Paulo Guarulhos arrivals (scheduled for late 2017).

Zehnder noted: “All of these investments ensure we can present a good experience and add theatre to the stores. Our goal is to grow the category. Experience is key, so touch and feel and taste must play a role in engaging the consumer.”

The Lindt Travel Souvenir Collection is among the new lines introduced to the market at Cannes 2017

The brand owner is also introducing a series of line extensions for its core ranges, which it revealed at TFWA World Exhibition last month.

As reported, these include the Lindt Travel Souvenir Collection featuring the Lindt Tin Suitcase (360g) and the Lindt Chocolate Trolleys (600g). Both feature assorted Napolitains in six flavours: Milk, Milk Hazelnut, Lindor Surfin, Cresta Mil and Cresta White. The Travel Souvenir Collection allows customers to personalise their products with exclusive destination stickers.

Zehnder said: “We have evolved the chocolate trolley design to a more collectible format. It now has stickers to denote the destination and that adds a more premium look. It will be activated location by location in a different way, very much tailored to the retailer’s needs.”

The latest tablets build on a strong Lindt offer in this segment

Three new travel retail-exclusive flavours have been added to the Lindt 300g Tablets: Milk Crunchy Nougat, Dark Berry Almond and White Coconut Almond.

In the key Lindor line, the company is planning a wide-ranging 2018 campaign around the slogan ‘Say It With Lindor’.

Zehnder said: “We want to add emotion to the premium end of the market. And let’s not forget this is one of the world’s big brands in confectionery.”

He added: “As part of our extended range we are offer smaller size tubes. These can make for an uncomplicated gift but one that can grow penetration in the CHF15-18 mark; it offers variety in a new size for retailers.”

In a new addition to this line, the Coconut Edition offers a new flavour.

The Swiss Masterpieces Diamond Edition complements the core range and supports demand from customers for additional premium gifting options, says Lindt

Other developments come in the Swiss Masterpieces Diamond Edition: this contains 15 pralines presented in a white box which is embellished with sparkles. The Diamond Edition complements the core range and supports demand from customers for additional premium gifting options, said the company.

Separately, as reported, Lindt and Bottega have partnered for a new cross-category campaign. The companies have launched a display-based activation combining their bestselling products in travel retail – a 75cl bottle of Bottega Gold and Lindt Swiss Masterpieces Pralines – in an effort to promote joint sales.