Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mars ITR aims for a billion smiles in Travel Retail

Smiles were aplenty when more than 150 travel industry executives gathered in Cannes at the Baoli nightclub - transformed into an M&M’s wonderland - to hear Mars International Travel Retail announce its brand new category vision and strategy for confectionery.
The event was held at bâoli, Cannes

Entrance to bâoli

What's your favourite colour? Interactive game

Marketing Director Lieke Duijmelings and General Manager Craig Sargeant

Marketing Director Lieke Duijmelings' speech

MITR brands

The MITR team

The MITR team smile with the red M&M's character

Red M&M's character

The key message of the evening was simple: ‘A smiling traveller is a spending traveller’ and MITR believes that confectionery is best placed as a category to create those smiles.

The evening was introduced by MITR Sales Directors Christophe Bouye and Simon Knapp with a summary of the confectionery business in travel retail given by Travel Retail Business Editor Doug Newhouse. Key presentations were given by Marketing Director Lieke Duijmelings and General Manager Craig Sargeant, with a fun and relaxed tone maintained throughout.

But the message is a serious one. MITR believes that by overcoming four barriers to smiling the confectionery category can be doubled by 2020.

Says Lieke Duijmelings: “We need the full support of the Trinity to unlock the potential from this fantastic category: everybody loves confectionery (it brings smiles), it is great for cross-penetration  sales and it is the most effective footfall driver.”

At the heart of the new strategy lies extensive research with over 5000 travellers of all nationalities over a 4 month period. Undertaken by M1nd-set at nine key airports globally, the research has come up with new insights that are somewhat surprising:

Continues Lieke: “We have found that, despite what is generally thought, only 20% of travellers who purchase actually buy confectionery for someone else. Indeed, most people buy for themselves (45%) or for sharing purposes (35%), even though they may buy formats which are targeted as gifts.”

MITR has found five main shopper needs within airports: Home Sweet Home, Travel Treats, Celebrating Parenthood, Showing Thought and Trip Memories.  ‘We believe that by closely targeting these needs with the right portfolio and high impact activations and promotions we can create the smiles that are needed in order to not only grow the confectionery category but ALL categories,” continues Lieke. And, she adds, given the ever changing traveller profile, with more middle income travellers, more frequent flyers, more leisure travellers and more low-cost carriers, the confectionery category will become even more important in leveraging sales within the airport retail environment.

MITR believes that the confectionery category’s full potential can be unlocked by harnessing the correct areas for growth. “And we have the brands to do it,” says Craig, “We have the brands to win the traveller’s smile: M&M’s, the global No.1; Snickers, the global No.2; Galaxy (aka Dove), the global No.4; along with Maltesers, Skittles and Extra, the global No.1 gum brand,” Craig says.
“We know that by attracting the passenger with compelling activations and promotions we can convert browsers to shoppers and build the basket size – and we have some brilliant case studies to prove the point including our highly successful Watch M campaign, Beach Ball campaign (Frontier Winner of the best Marketing campaign), M&M’s Stores, Colourhagen and many more.”

Pulling all this together, MITR has come up with a solid plan of action which will benefit all elements of The Trinity, producing a “Category Vision One Pager” for discussion with airports and retailers.

Note to editors: Mars ITR offers a strong global portfolio of brands to travel retail led by world famous M&M’s along with Celebrations, Galaxy Jewels, Snickers, Maltesers, Extra and Skittles. MITR believes in ‘confronting’ the traveller with impactful displays supported by exciting activations as the key to turning travellers into shoppers and converting shoppers into buyers. Its marketing techniques range from impactful, small-scale promotions to unique large theatre implementations. The constant aim is to create excitement on the shop floor in order to boost sales through seasonal and all year round campaigns. MITR continues to open M&M’s shops within airport stores and has fabulous new outlets planned in all regions, while in-store the company is in discussions with retailers regarding its Category Management Program which aims to promote the confectionery category in general – not just MITR brands. In terms of products, MITR is introducing more exclusive and destination lines for travel retail and, generally, is promising lots of traveller engagement and fun in-store.

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