The Moodie Davitt Report brings you the latest instalment in our popular series Ten Easy Pieces*, in which we get up close and personal with leading travel retail personalities via ten snapshot questions.
In this edition we meet ebullient Kiwi Antony Kime, Zamora International’s Global Duty Free Director.
1. Where were you born and raised?
I grew up in a town called Papakura, about one hour south of Auckland in New Zealand. I have two sisters, one older and one younger. My dad was a mechanic and owned a petrol station, and my mum worked the hardest being at home and keeping us all clothed and fed.
Because I was the only son I went everywhere with my dad. He went to the rugby club, which he was President of. I tagged along. He had to go to work on the weekends, I was there as well. Going fishing, me too! So my fondest memories are of being with, and hanging out with, my dad. From him I learned so many important lessons and the work ethic I live by now.
2. Tell us about your teenage years at King’s College in Auckland and your decision to study Business Management at Massey University, Wellington. What kind of student were you and what did you have in mind for the future?
My time and experience at King’s was amazing. I was thrust into a boarding school from Papakura and that was a huge shock. It took me a while to get used to the discipline, routine, and importantly, the opportunities the school had to offer me.
Outside of my own family, King’s has had the biggest influence on my life and on what I have gone to achieve, because it just set me up so well.
I went on to study Business Management at Massey. I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps of running a business but already knew that the mechanical side of his career did not interest me. However I found the idea of building up, developing and managing a business, really interesting.
A great time was had in Massey; not enough study, but a great three years.
After finishing with university, I spent the next four years working in, and then running, restaurants and bars between Queenstown and Auckland before the opportunity to work for Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) was impossible to say no to.
I started as a Sales Rep at CCA and then quickly worked my way up the business to be a National Account Manager, looking after Shell and also Burger King.
3. What prompted your move from New Zealand to Australia?
I was offered the opportunity to move to Sydney to manage the same portfolio, plus the big catering companies, but at a state level.
Definitely the most exciting time was when CCA was able to get the Subway Australia account off Pepsi and I was the New South Wales state lead on the changeover. This meant selling the brand and ultimately convincing the franchisees that moving over to Coca-Cola was going to be beneficial to their businesses. The roll-out was planned and implemented over the following 18 months, involving 1,500 post-mix machines, the same amount of fridges, training staff, and dealing with managers and franchisees.
4. And then a move to Suntory Beam when you were still in Sydney. Did your involvement with that company open the door to international travel and travel retail?
Suntory Beam was a great company to work for and in the long run opened up many doors for me. The team in Australia was small with around 18 people; however they were all very talented and lived and breathed the brands.
I stayed with Beam and moved my family, my wife Rosie and my daughter Elizabeth, to the UK. That opened the door to travel retail.
5. You are very experienced in product launches. Is there one particular launch that stands out?
It would have to be the most recent within our Zamora business. Licor 43 Orochata was the first [new product] innovation for more than 60 years for Licor 43 and consumers have really embraced and love the liquid and packaging. At this point we have seen no cannibalisation in Licor 43 Original and Orochata volume has already reached 10% of the main brand. So far it is all incremental.
6. Let’s look at your involvement with Zamora International. How do you see its development and its extended portfolio which now includes some interesting brands, for example Thunder Bitch whisky?
Firstly I think that development of packaging and innovation is really important now and in the future as consumers want new and exciting things, and at a faster rate. We are working hard to get ahead of that demand so watch this space; the wine and spirits channel will see more in the very near future.
It’s early days for Thunder Bitch but exciting at the same time as this is a new direction for the business. It is the first whisky in the portfolio and a brand that does not pull any punches for consumers as well. My coming from a whisky background makes me very excited at what lays ahead.
7. What do you consider the three major changes in the spirits industry in travel retail over the years you have been involved?
The first has to be the development of travel retail-exclusive products or an entire range in some cases. They were quite new when I started. Now it is hard to find a brand or category that has not had at least one.
Secondly, the consolidation of the airport operators has had a fundamental change to the industry. Thirdly, I believe that digital and online business is something that we are yet to fully embrace and I think everyone in travel retail feels the same.
8. What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
As a family our first priority is to find sun, so apart from going home to New Zealand, we go to Italy every year, to an area just outside of Ostuni in Puglia. There we either head to the beach or sit beside a pool sipping Villa Massa Tonica.
9. I hear you are a CrossFit fan. Why does that particular sport appeal to you?
I think because it is so damn hard and super addictive. You spend the first year just trying to complete a WOD (Workout of the Day) without collapsing into a heap or making a fool out of yourself. Then one day it all clicks and you become ‘ok’ at it; but just ok.
You never really conquer CrossFit. Your better technique gets better, you get stronger and lift bigger, squat heavier; see… addicted!
[Antony’s love of extreme sports does not end with CrossFit. Earlier this month he ran and walked the 100km 2017 Cotswold Way Challenge from Bath to Cheltenham. He said it was “tough to say the least” and was happy to find his family waiting for him at 4am when he finished]
10. You live in a small English town with your wife and daughter. Can you give us a glimpse of Antony Kime away from the bustle of travel retail?
One thing is for sure, growing up in small town New Zealand I never thought I would end up in an even smaller town (or village should I say) in the UK. We have five acres with a lake in the middle so the weekends, particularly in the summer, are filled with mowing lawns, gardening and trying to convince my daughter that helping out dad will be fun.
For someone like me who loves the outdoors it is completely brilliant.
I am also a massive rugby fan and a Formula One nut so getting the opportunity to watch either of those two sports is a good ‘switch off’ moment.
Overall we try and keep things relaxed with plenty of dinner parties and having a good pub just a few miles away works well for me!
*PREVIOUSLY FEATURED TEN EASY PIECES PERSONALITIES INCLUDE: