Nestlé International Travel Retail’s (NITR) Perfect Store category initiative and product innovation continue to underpin its strategy to drive the confectionery category in travel retail.

This was demonstrated at the recent TFWA World Exhibition in October, where the company presented its shopper-centric approach and 2014 product novelties on a new-look stand featuring a Nescafé Dolce Gusto coffee bar.

“Our mission to turn global passengers into global shoppers becomes more challenging every year, as they become better informed, better connected – and more demanding,” said NITR General Manager Devrim Cobek.

“Travel retail success demands new thinking to deliver sales growth in an environment that is becoming ever more polarised between mature and fast-growing regions. Here at Nestlé we recognise the opportunity to broaden and adapt our confectionery range to suit the needs of both new and existing global travel shoppers.”

NITR Global Head of Sales Alan Brennan explained that with the global travel retail market now split into mature markets such as Europe and emerging markets such as Asia, particularly China, there is a need for a multipronged and targeted promotional and retailing approach.

Mature markets are more price-driven, more likely to impulse purchase and prefer personalised offers, while emerging markets are more promotion-sensitive; they pre-plan their gift purchases and are more open to trying new brands and products, as well as limited editions. Instead of a one-size-fits-all promotional strategy which often results in too many generic promotions – and “promotion overkill” – by retailers, NITR believes that the key to penetration, growth and conversion of sales lie in “insight-driven activations”, as illustrated by its Perfect Store project in partnership with Schiphol Airport Retail.

“The Schiphol project has demonstrated 12 months on the sustainability of Perfect Store in terms of delivering incremental sales growth for the confectionery category and the total store,” says Nestlé International Travel Retail Global Head of Sales Alan Brennan

The latest results from the Schiphol Project have shown that, despite being considered a mature market, there is still potential for growth – confectionery sales grew +17% after the implementation of Perfect Store.

“The Schiphol project has demonstrated 12 months on the sustainability of Perfect Store in terms of delivering incremental sales growth for the confectionery category and the total store,” Brennan said. “Perfect Store is a continually developing programme as NITR aims to gain new insights and greater understanding of the ever changing shopper, introducing the latest activations aimed at overcoming the barriers to purchase and converting more shoppers into buyers.”

In addition, NITR is leveraging the expertise of its parent company to look at introducing new categories into the channel while adapting its confectionery range to better meet the needs of new, emerging as well as existing global travel shoppers.

The 2014 product range is said to reflect a shopper-centric approach – centred on key global brands such as KitKat, Nestlé Swiss and Smarties, alongside brands that better meet the needs of the regional shopper such as Smarties, Quality Street, After Eight and Baci.

Novelties for 2014

The 2014 product portfolio is driven by new shopper insights which give NITR a better understanding of differing traveller needs and expectations, the company said. Addressing the fast growing snacking and sharing, informal and family gifting categories remain key, with all new product developments offering travel retail exclusivity.

KitKat – Addressing both the informal gifting as well as snacking and sharing segments, the 2014 KitKat range includes the new 749g Mix Sharing Bag which contains 36 two-finger bars of different flavours: Milk, Dark and new Orange and Cookies & Cream. Additionally, NITR has introduced a new packaging shape for the KitKat Mini 517g Sharing Bag, designed for greater shelf visibility. Both are exclusive to travel retail.

KitKat’s Mini 517g Sharing Bag (left) and 749g Mix Sharing Bag (right)
The Nestlé Swiss 300g tablet now comes in two new flavours for 2014

Nestlé Swiss – For 2014, this travel retail exclusive brand will offer two new versions of its 300g Tablets: Nestlé Swiss Milk Almonds Nougatine and Nestlé Swiss Dark Hazelnuts.

Smarties – NITR expands on its Disney Pixar partnership in 2014 with new character additions to the Toppers range from the Monsters University and Planes movies. The former includes a “˜rock/paper/scissors’ game while the latter incorporates a kaleidoscope-style viewer. The Smarties Disney Princesses Toppers range has also been redesigned, now featuring castle dispensers that can be stacked together for extra play value. Also new is the travel retail exclusive Smarties Baking Kit, which comes with everything you need to bake and decorate a tray of muffins.

The Smarties Baking Kit comes with everything needed to bake and decorate a tray of muffins
The Smarties Disney Pixar Toppers range for 2014 includes new characters from Monsters University and Planes and a castle dispenser for the Disney Princesses range

Quality Street – The Quality Street 438g Carton has a new look with an improved gifting format and presentation. It contains an assortment of 12 chocolates and toffees in different shapes, all individually wrapped in bright and festive colours.

Baci – The new Baci Bijou contains 14 hazelnut pralines in a premium and elegant gift box.

“NITR’s mission is to always be at the heart of the shopper. All our new product introductions are carefully thought out and are designed to fill a particular emotional buying need. Every year we strive to improve our offer, making it more aligned to the changing needs and requirements of travelling shoppers from every region. All new products then become an integral part of the Perfect Store initiative. We believe 2014 will be a very exciting year for NITR in travel retail,” said NITR Marketing Manager Frédérique Rosier.

(Left) Quality Street 438g Carton with a new-look gifting format and presentation;
(Right) Baci Bijou containing 14 hazelnut pralines in a gift box