October 14 2022  |  Confectionery & Fine Foods

NITR talks VERSE model, "superfood" and growth at TFWA Cannes

By Laura Shirk

Central to NITR's VERSE model, "Regeneration" promises to protect, renew and restore the environment across brands and the company

During a press conference at TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes, Nestlé International Travel Retail (NITR) elaborated on its VERSE model (Value, Engagement, Regeneration, Sense of Place, Execution) and provided an update on its range of brands including KitKat, Smarties and Nescafé. Beyond sustainability, “Regeneration” is central to its VERSE model and promises to protect, renew and restore the environment across brands and the company. It speaks to consumers, retailers and the industry as a whole.

Conducted by Tamara Spada, Marketing Manager at NITR, the event focused on the company’s ambition to build food into the most purchased category in travel retail and desire to unlock the potential of food via one “superfood” category. Made up of three pillars (confectionery, global food brands and local food), the “superfood” category relies on nurturing consumers’ trust in global brands and leveraging local food to establish sense of place. This holistic approach supports the consistency of resilience among confectionery and NITR’s strategy to reach consumers across the full travel journey.

Launching in March 2023, Smarties' Cool Creatures activity box allows kids to explore the underwater world through color via online and offline methods

Key brand takeaways

  • KitKat’s new campaign “Break in a World of Flavour” encourages shoppers to indulge their senses and creates aspirational brand positioning within the travel retail channel
  • KitKat Senses Mini Moments and KitKat Senses Mini Desserts are now available in two new flavors: Pistachio and Lotus Biscuit
  • New packaging across the range features “cues” to link design and communication style
  • Available in a TR exclusive box of three, its plant-based vegan KitKat bar is a step in NITR’s KitKat journey to neutrality (the product has a carbon footprint 18% lower than the standard milk chocolate KitKat bar)
  • Launching in March 2023, Smarties will offer youth the opportunity to “learn through play” via its Smarties Cool Creatures activity box
  • Kids can construct, decorate and play – and explore the underwater world through color
  • Tying back to the concept of regeneration, the box is plastic-free and for the first-time combines analog and digital activities to achieve an enhanced learning experience
  • The next step in NITR’s sustainability journey is the shift to paper Quality Street wrappers by March 2023, which will remove more than two billion wrappers from the ecosystem

According to NITR, at 84% consumers are 1.5x more likely to purchase coffee vs. confectionery

Growing food beyond confectionery

Referring to global opportunities available to unlock, Spada points out that at 84% consumers are 1.5x more likely to purchase coffee vs. confectionery and wellbeing (the buying of vitamins, minerals, herbals and supplements or VMHS) is a rapidly increasing priority.

During the presentation, the marketing manager compared the Nescafé Azera Americano range, which is crafted to meet the specific barista-style demands of younger consumers and the Nescafé Gold Roastery collection, which provides two distinct flavors: light roast and dark roast. Spada says the full Nescafé range strategically meets the different needs of consumers in travel retail.

Considering 83% of consumers surveyed noted that coffee as part of duty free shopping “would be quite or very useful,” the company is prepared to invest in bringing this category to life via online and offline media.

When it comes VMHS, Spada concludes that while wellness trends are rising across the globe, it is important that NITR approaches this new space in a responsible and methodical way – with sustainability at the forefront.


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