April 9 2024  |  Confectionery & Fine Foods

Nestlé Travel Retail International talks exclusivity and sustainability at Summit of the Americas

By Laura Shirk

Nestlé’s latest channel-exclusive Nestlé Sustainably Sourced chocolate range launches this month

Nestlé Travel Retail International (NITR) is set to make a bold appearance at the upcoming IAADFS Summit of the Americas, at the Palm Beach County Convention Centre, West Palm Beach, Florida 14-17 April (Booth 101/102).

The Summit offers the ideal venue for the travel retail and duty free industry to gather together and discuss challenges facing the industry, and opportunities for growth in the Americas.

The market is a key one for NITR as it looks towards substantial growth in the region by increasing its network and tapping into consumer needs and demands with a strong product line-up based on the company’s mission to make food the #1 most purchased category in travel retail.

At the same time as introducing new products, many of which are exclusive to travel retail and – in the case of its just-launched Nestlé Sustainably Sourced Cocoa line – leading lights on the road towards sustainability, NITR will also introduce its ‘Together We Grow’ platform.

According to Nestlé International Travel Retail General Manager Stewart Dryburgh, the company views the North and South America market as a growth platform. The area not only accounts for 18% of global passengers, it is also the leading market with best recovery (+106%) on 2019 figures and offers strong opportunities in travel retail, through duty free operations in airports, border stores, in the cruise sector and more.

NITR notes that Confectionery and Food is the most cross-selling category in North and South America, with a massive +230% increase in incremental sales versus Q1 2022.

In the LATAM market, NITR is intent on developing strategic partnerships with local brands and landlords and exploring untapped markets and emerging destinations. The company notes the increase in international tourism and air travel in the region and the increasing importance of arrival stores. While a highly volatile region, LATAM has a very resilient duty-free industry and an extensive multi-channel offer.

Dryburgh is confident that NITR will see double-digit growth in the Americas this year. “The current forecast is for around 12.2% growth, but we are setting our sights higher than that, despite any price increases which are always a challenge,” he said.

“We are coming to the IAADFS Summit armed with new products – one in particular, our new Nestlé sustainably Sourced which is a game-changer in terms of both exclusivity and sustainability – and a strategy which can only produce positive results in the confectionery and food categories. Not only do we have the products to take these categories forward, we also have the marketing tools and platforms to support our industry partners.”

The innovative Smarties Cool Creatures will be highlighted at the IAADFS Summit

Jorge Hadweh, NITR Global Head of Sales, added, “In 2024 we aim to improve our presence and positioning in the Americas (North and South America market) as the main food supplier partner by increasing our distribution in top airports and other duty-free business models. We are looking to extend our footprint through new spaces and increased permanent visibility in key US airports. That will come through an improved product assortment and targeted campaigns to support our products.”

Hadweh says NITR’s network of brand ambassadors in Mexico and South America will be increased as will collaborations relating to sustainability with major travel retailers.

“NITR must be proactive to ensure we stay ahead of market trends and demands and target growth through exciting and engaging activations and geographical expansion, not just through airport stores but also through partnerships in the cruise sector and border stores. There is a strong opportunity to increase our share of the market in North America and we intend to make the most of it.”

At the IAADFS Summit of the Americas, NITR will highlight products within its VERSE (Value, Engagement, Regeneration, Sense of Place and Execution) model, including travel retail- exclusive products.

Nestlé’s latest channel-exclusive Nestlé Sustainably Sourced chocolate range launches this month. The launch is a major one for NITR, underlining the company’s commitment to innovation and to leading the regeneration of the confectionery category. Put simply, Nestlé Sustainably Sourced Cocoa combines Nestlé’s Swiss chocolate expertise with sustainability and, with its ‘Does Good, Tastes Great’ tagline, has already met with very positive reactions from travel retailers.

The Nestlé Sustainably Sourced Cocoa product line-up includes four 170g tablets, with flavors Dark Chocolate, Blueberries, Almonds & Hazelnuts; Milk Chocolate, Raisins, Almonds & Hazelnuts; Milk Chocolate Cranberries, Almonds & Hazelnuts and Milk Chocolate & Hazelnuts.

There are four 270gr tablets in Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Almonds, Milk Chocolate and Milk Chocolate with Almonds and a 426g Sharing Pouch is also available, containing approximately 45 individually wrapped pieces in Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts.

The global roll-out of Nestlé Sustainably Sourced Cocoa starts in May (in partnership with OTIS McAllister in North America and other retailers for the rest of the Americas region) and will continue throughout the summer, supported by major activations in partnership with key travel retailers. Its launch is supported by a new gondola, featuring the products along with other key NITR brands and highlighting the company’s long-standing and ongoing sustainability efforts.

Retailers attending the Summit of the Americas can see the NSS range at both the Nestlé booth and at its exclusive North America distributor OTIS McAllister booth (201).

Dryburgh believes that Nestlé Sustainably Sourced Cocoa will drive incremental sales by attracting the fastest growing consumer segments – and that includes Gen Z – into confectionery. “My team looks forward to sharing this initiative, along with our new KitKat products, sustainability award winner Smarties and key gifting brand After Eight, and our growing coffee offer, at the IAADFS Summit of the Americas,” he added.

The world’s #1 chocolate bar, KitKat is a key brand in the NITR line-up. KitKat is the first global chocolate brand to use 100% sustainably sourced cocoa through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan and Rainforest Alliance certified.

Featured products at the Florida event will include the travel retail-exclusive KitKat with Lotus Biscoff. The 122.5g pack features a crunchy, caramelized cinnamon spread made from Lotus Biscoff biscuit sandwiched between classic KitKat wafers covered in creamy milk chocolate.

The KitKat Cookie Dough line, which has proven a favorite on the American market, includes a 52g KitKat Cookie Dough Wafer Bar and 42g KitKat Chunky Cookie Dough with a layer of rich fudge cookie dough.

Smarties rolled out recyclable paper packaging for all its confectionery products globally in 2021. As always, its colorful, stand-out products will attract attention at the IAADFS event. The innovative Smarties Cool Creatures is designed to inspire imagination and sea exploration through learning and augmented reality. The kit includes four sea-creature construction sheets, a play mat, eight pencils and sticker sheets. It also includes four mini tubes of Smarties in recyclable paper packaging.

NITR will also spotlight a recent addition to its popular After Eight brand. Its 400g Limited Edition Strawberry and Mint has been described as “something blissfully extraordinary”.

With its world leading Nescafé coffee portfolio NITR aims to ensure that retailers can offer five distinct product ranges to meet all customer profiles, along with travel retail store and merchandising concepts focused on bringing the coffee experience to life. Leading the line-up is the Nescafé Roastery Collection, with two flavors offering a unique two-part blend of high-quality coffee, roasted in two individual batches then perfectly paired. The Light Roast is smooth and delicate, with notes of caramelized honey and toasted biscuit, while the Dark Roast offers a bold and intense flavor, with notes or rich dark chocolate and roasted nut.

Nescafé Azera Americano is a barista-style coffee collection in original, decaff and intense options and targeting younger consumers.

“We are determined to show that NITR is living up to its aim to make food the #1 most purchased category in travel retail,” Dryburgh said. “At the same time, we are very proud to present brands and products which also meet our sustainability credentials.”

NITR’s ‘Together We Grow’ platform aims to help its retailer partners accelerate sustainable programs. The concept falls under the Regeneration pillar of NITR’s VERSE model and is exclusive to travel retail.

NITR says that the platform can support its retail partners sustainability objectives in parallel to communicating the already significant environmental impact it has made through its packaging projects, the Cocoa Plan and Coffee Plan responsible sourcing initiatives over the last 15 years.

The Nestlé Cocoa Plan was launched in 2009 and has engaged more than 150 000 cocoa-farming families so far, building on our three pillars:

• Better farming, aiming to improve livelihoods in communities

• Better lives, aiming to improve social conditions for families

• Better cocoa, aiming to improve product sustainability.

The concept also highlights Nestlé’s innovative Income Accelerator Program, building on the company’s longstanding efforts to tackle child labor risks in cocoa production. The program aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families and incentivize enrolment of children in school, while advancing regenerative agriculture practices and gender equality. It rewards cocoa-farming families not only for the quantity and quality of cocoa beans they produce but also for the benefits they provide to the environment and local communities. And it has impacted the lives of thousands of families.

REGION Americas
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