July 4 2024  |  Confectionery & Fine Foods

Maestrani celebrates Swissness and eyes expansion in the channel

By Alison Farrington

Maestrani’s Avelines brand now features three SKUs for travel retail, building on its premium gifting proposition; the  company introduced Avelines Princess in 2023

Expansion into global travel retail locations is a big focus for Swiss company Maestrani and its chocolate brands Avelines, Princess and Munz this year, says Senior Key Account Manager Business Development & Travel Retail Faozia Math-Ly-Roun.

Despite challenges with rising costs for raw materials and transportation costs, she says the company is prioritizing airport activations in order to grow. “We are celebrating our Swiss heritage with co-collaborations and building on our 100 year anniversary from three years ago, she tells Global Travel Retail Magazine.

“We continue to prioritize investments in activations in Swiss heritage tourist locations, such as Geneva and Zurich. We say if you come to Geneva you need to buy your Patek Philippe watch and Avelines chocolates. It’s like a perfect marriage with the chocolate maker and watch maker.” 

Maestrani’s Senior Key Account Manager Business Development & Travel Retail Faozia Math-Ly-Roun shows off one of its latest Swiss promotions featuring a hot chocolate fondue set collaboration

Avelines and cross-category collaboration 

In 2022 Maestrani integrated the premium Swiss chocolate praline brand Avelines into its portfolio, which was acquired from Favarger, a rival Swiss chocolatier. Math-Ly-Roun says this was when the company launched into the praline category, an important luxury strategy.

At the end of 2023, Maestrani launched Avelines Gold as a travel retail exclusive, which comes in gold packaging with seven ingredients: hazelnut, almond, cocoa, sugar, Swiss milk, coconut and vanilla bonbon. It celebrates Swiss chocolate making and now has partnerships with a number of five-star hotels in Geneva.

Avelines has three SKUs: Milk, Dark and Praliné, extended to help the brand become recognized as a premium Swiss chocolate praline brand in the global travel retail channel.

At the beginning of 2023, the company introduced Avelines Princess, inspired by an old recipe from Geneva. “We created Avelines Princess because we wanted something more feminine for Mother’s Day, hen parties, baby showers, Valentines gifting opportunities. As it’s a travel retail exclusive, to differentiate this product, Avelines Princess now comes in a clear pink pouch for ease of traveling in the airport,” according to Math-Ly-Roun.

In May, the brand’s latest activation launched in partnership with Air Gate Shop in Geneva. “All our touristic products are on show to celebrate Swissness; from the chocolates to the heart-shaped tins and our very special hot chocolate ‘fondue’ set, it’s a great gift and pushes the idea of unique gifts,” she says.

Further gift ideas are through co-collaborations with Swiss partner brands Caran d’Ache, and Mavala Switzerland. “It’s important for us to do this type of co-branding on the spot in airports, offering something else to our customers in Monaco and Geneva,” she adds. Avelines is paired with a miniature set of color pencils and a French manicure touch up set as gifts.

Launching for September 2024 Avelines is introducing Mini Princess – six pieces of praline, one for each day of the week, with a day off. “Princess Avelines has done so well and so we have miniaturized this product for gifting especially in Asia and for airlines, which we hope will develop further,” she says.

The Munz kids collection goes from strength to strength with both core and regional animal characters

Multi-purpose kids collection by Munz

Munz goes from strength to strength with its focus on kids tins. Now the full collection comprises the ladybird (a symbol of Swiss happiness), the unicorn, the butterfly, the bee, and more recently a camel, penguin, panda, rocket and pirate ship were launched to widen the appeal for kids in travel mode. The tins can be re-used as a pencil case for school and the characterful tins are ideal to collect as a set. “The Munz tins are very playful, colorful and eye-catching for our travel retail towers that are stand-alone units and draw attention to the brand – this we have for all our partners,” she comments.

Last year Maestrani developed its travel retail business into a global operation, growing its exports further than Europe and into the Middle East and Asia via partnerships at airports including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Istanbul, Bangkok and Taipei. “We continue to tell the story of our great tasting, 100% Swiss-made and fair-trade chocolate around the world,” says Math-Ly-Roun.

The Munz kids line of playful character tins has been extended to feature 11 SKUs with their own stand-alone retail unit in travel retail

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