Swiss herb confectionery specialist Ricola is redefining its travel retail portfolio of herb drops following research carried out by m1nd-set in Frankfurt and Hong Kong airports.

The findings, along with new travel retail-exclusive lines, will be revealed at next month’s TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference in Singapore (Basement 2, H6).

The full new product line-up will be launched at the 2017 TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes in October.

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Smaller, travel retail-exclusive packs feature in Ricola’s refreshed portfolio

m1nd-set research considered key drivers of candy sales, the perception of Ricola as a brand and the perceived benefits of its herb drop range.

Ricola Head of Travel Retail and Middle East Andreas Reckart said: “Interestingly, we found that at both [Hong Kong and Frankfurt] airports the majority of candy purchases were for self, with mouth refreshment and/or breath freshening a key driver.”

When purchasing, consumers considered taste and self-treat along with other factors including soothing a sore throat and the need for healthy and sugar-free products. The research indicated that pocket-size boxes or tins could prompt purchases; price was not a consideration.

“In both airports the brand scored highly as being of high quality, a trusted brand from Switzerland, with soothing and refreshing benefits,” Reckart said.

Ricola’s new SKUs have prompted the development of smaller, travel retail-exclusive packaging which maintains premium pricing but is competitive compared to domestic markets, the company stated.

“Ricola has a global reputation as the world’s leading supplier of premium herb drops but this does not automatically translate into travel retail success,” noted Reckart. “Now that we clearly understand the reasons for purchase – primarily for self rather than for gifting – it puts a completely new perspective on how we present, package and merchandise Ricola.”

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Pocket-sized tins prompt purchases, according to Ricola

The new products will be phased in over the summer period with further lines added over the next year. They include 75g tins in three designs, developed as checkout items for individual consumption. The tins contain unwrapped 2.5g sugar-free herb drops in three flavours: Original Herb, LemonMint and Cranberry.

A 125g doypack of wrapped 3.6g sugar-free herb drops is designed as a shelf item for individual consumption. Flavours include Original Herb, LemonMint, and Eucalyptus.


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75g tins of Swiss Herb Drops are highlighted as checkout items for individual consumption

Reckart commented: “We now have a clear vision and strategy for travel retail, a clear purpose and positioning within travel retail as the ‘Herbal Travel Essential’ to combat the problems associated with travel: dry cabin air, lack of water, mouth freshness/breath and change of climate.

“Our aim is to position Ricola as a truly global yet unique brand in the global travel retail business with distribution through the top ten retailers globally.

“We are looking at supporting the new range with strong branding, merchandising and promotion to secure personalised space in the top ten international airports. While Europe remains an important market for travel retail, our focus is on further developing our travel retail and domestic business outside our European stronghold.”