Sweet success: The Mars team, CIAL Alpha Kreol and Cochin Airport celebrate a landmark accolade
SINGAPORE. Today, at the TFWA Asia Pacific show in Singapore, Mars International Travel Retail (MITR) presented its inaugural Indian Duty Free Retailer of the Year Award.
The accolade went to CIAL Alpha Kreol for its thriving confectionery business at Cochin International Airport (CIAL).
The award builds on MITR’s well-established Middle East Duty Free Retailer of the Year Award.
Mars Global ITR Consultant Stuart Bull presented the award in a ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel. “We believe that the Indian duty free business is on the cusp of significant development,” he declared. “It is on the brink of developing into the success that everyone has been forecasting for years…hence our decision to create this award.”
He continued: “In the late 1980s/early 1990s”¦ I could see that there was an opportunity to sell top confectionery brands to returning Indian travellers – on arrival – but my pleas fell on deaf ears, and that opportunity was never taken.
“From Mars company research we know that the Indian traveller loves to buy gifts, and that one of the most popular gift items is confectionery. We know in Dubai and Singapore that the top nationality for confectionery sales is Indians.
“So it makes sense that returning Indians would buy chocolates on arrival – but only under certain key conditions.
“The products must always be top brands, not readily available in India; they must always be available; they must be fresh and in perfect condition – not dripping off the shelves; and the price must be right, that is, comparable with the Gulf or Singapore.”
Bull paid tribute to Alpha and its partner (Alpha Kreol), citing it as the only Indian airport retailer to consistently achieve these objectives, at CIAL.
(Left) Stuart Bull with AS Lal of Alpha Kreol and Paul Topping from Alpha Asia; (Right) Stuart Bull with V Suresh Babu, General Manager (Commercial) for Cochin International Airport
To put that in context, Bull revealed that in 2007 CIAL retailed around US$1 million worth of Mars products, the vast majority of which were on arrival. Mars holds more than 50% of the confectionery category in CIAL. “Our partnership with both CIAL and Alpha Kreol goes from strength to strength,” he noted.
The award was accepted by CIAL Commercial Director V Suresh Babu, A.S. Lal of Alpha Kreol and Alpha Asia Managing Director Paul Topping.
Also representing Mars at the event was Ruby Walsh, Mars Manager responsible for duty free sales in the Middle East and India, and Rajiv Hira, a consultant helping the company to understand the Indian market, who has had a big impact on the brand’s performance.
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