Travel retailers laud Nestlé’s ‘Food category’ ambition

October 27, 2022

Nestlé’s ambition to build food into the #1 category in travel retail received an extremely positive response from customers at this month’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference. Nestlé presented its detailed strategy for unlocking the potential of food to retail partners at the Cannes show. In this it highlighted key learnings from the in-depth research study, commissioned through m1nd-set, regarding the potential to grow food beyond the core confectionery segment. “We are tremendously excited by our customers’ reactions to Nestlé’s new Food strategy,” commented ITR general manager Stewart Dryburgh. “Our partners have been quick to grasp the scale of the wider food category’s untapped potential – and how it could be a significant growth driver for the channel.” Currently accounting for 77% of food purchases within global travel retail, confectionery will continue to be the driving force within the category. Focusing on KitKat, Nestlé is adding plant-based KitKat Vegan this year. For the year to come there is an extensive new product pipeline planned, including new Pistachio and Lotus Biscuit flavours for KitKat Senses Mini Moments; a two-flavour KitKat Mix Sharing Bag; and updated flavours (Peanut Butter, Milk and Caramel) for KitKat Chunky Mix Gift Pack. These releases will be supported by a new 360 Break In a World of Flavour campaign. As previously announced, Nestlé’s strategy to build Food into the #1 most purchased category will be delivered through the VERSE model: Value, Engagement, Regeneration, Sense of Place and Execution. A major milestone of the company’s Regeneration driver was the switch last year to 100% recyclable paper packaging for Smarties. This brand will be further supported with a new Cool Creatures collection and campaign, incorporating a four-tube hexatub, stickers, colouring pencils and a selection of digital activities, from March 2023. Other key launches previewed at Cannes include a travel retail exclusive Gin, Tonic & Mint After Eight limited edition, plus a milk chocolate/hazelnut addition to the Nestlé Swiss tablet range. Nestlé also used this year’s Cannes show to highlight the next big step on its sustainability journey: the Quality Street brand’s transition to recyclable, FSC-certified paper packaging. While confectionery will remain core to the food proposition, Coffee and Wellbeing are the two sub-categories that have been earmarked by Nestlé for future global travel retail development. Research shows that 84% of travellers say they are likely to buy coffee in travel retail, a huge growth opportunity for Nescafé, the world’s leading coffee brand. Accordingly, in March 2023, the Nescafé Azera range – a barista-style instant coffee collection designed to appeal to younger consumers – will be rolled out to travel retail. Available in three flavour profiles (original, decaffeinated and intense), this range will join the Nescafé Gold Roastery Collection, which has been gradually introduced this year. All of these launches will be supported by impactful activations designed to attract and engage travellers, and really bring coffee to life in-store. In turn, these activations will be complemented by a variety of high-profile traditional and digital media initiatives. With the global wellness market valued by McKinsey at more than US$1.5 trillion, it’s clear why Nestlé has identified Wellbeing (Vitamins, Minerals, Herbals and Supplements) as another promising new category to leverage in travel retail. Nestlé Health Science’s existing portfolio of brands offers an exciting window of opportunity for the channel – watch this space. The opportunity in this segment is also clearly backed up by shopper research. “This year we have a number of real positives for travel retail.” Dryburgh noted. “We continue to work hard to offer all traveller segments – and our retail partners – a captivating proposition, underpinned by inventive activations. Going forward, we will be equally focused on building the core of confectionery, whilst also writing new chapters within Coffee and Wellbeing. We will progress with our mission to build on strong foundations, and create one ‘super’ food category that becomes the number one most purchased category in travel retail.”

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