Destination merchandise supplier Next 88 has added several new SKUs as it sets its sights on becoming a top-seller in Australian travel retail. And in related news, the company is underlining its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility by working with House With No Steps (HWNS), an Australian organisation that employs people with disabilities, typically Down’s Syndrome.

Next 88 was established in 2016 by Ivo Favotto, a former Nuance Group and Lagardère Travel Retail senior executive, with the intention of turning everyday duty free categories into souvenirs.

Next 88’s debut product – Australia-made macadamia nut shortbread cookies – was listed by Australian retailer awpl at Sydney Airport’s international terminal. The cookies are clad in collectable tins inspired by the road sign warnings of the country’s fauna, such as kangaroos, koalas, emus, echidnas and crocodiles. The choice of number is important – 8 is considered lucky by the Chinese.

Next 88 bounded into Australian travel retail with its first kangaroo-topped tin of cookies

Favotto, who is also a columnist for The Moodie Davitt Report and a leading travel retail consultant, said: “The Next 88 macadamia nut shortbread cookies have gone on to become an important brand within the destination packaged food category, making a striking impact in the duty free space.”

The brand is listed with Heinemann Duty Free at Sydney Airport and has extended its range to include Koala tin lids and traditional Australia and New Zealand Anzac biscuits. A premium variety pack offers both shortbread and Anzac biscuits.

Bear market: Next 88 has boosted its fledgling portfolio with several line extensions

“With these additional SKUs, Next 88 expects to become one of the top-selling Australian brands at Heinemann Duty Free at Sydney Airport with plans to achieve listings at additional duty free and souvenir locations across Australia,” Favotto added.

Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

Next 88 recently featured on Sunrise, a top Australian breakfast television programme, which dubbed HWNS as the “happiest workplace in Australia”, focusing on ability rather than disability. [Click on the arrow in the image above to view the coverage].

Next please: The distinctive destination line adds allure to Heinemann Duty Free’s strong local offer at Sydney Airport

“When Next 88 was established in 2016, we approached HWNS to source quality, Australia-made macadamia nut short bread cookies,” Favotto said.

“HWNS provides Next 88 with the cookies, sourced from macadamia nuts grown on a farm operated by HWNS in Ballina on New South Wales’ far north coast.

“We are humbled and inspired by our connection with such an amazing organisation” – Ivo Favotto

“The cookies are baked on a HWNS production line in Forbes – a major agricultural region in NSW’s west – and the tins are packed on a HWNS packing line in Belrose in suburban Sydney. All to Next 88’s exacting specifications, standards and quality control processes.

“Next 88 is proud to be a HWNS customer. We are humbled and inspired by our connection with such an amazing organisation. We have been truly impressed by their dedication, customer service and professional standards and even more impressed that they have been dubbed the happiest workplace in Australia.”