NITR: Confectionery/fine food sales can double in 10 years

By Charlotte Turner |

Stewart-Dryburgh-Nestle-ITR-ACI-Iceland-leadConfectionery and fine food sales in travel retail can be doubled to US$10bn in 10 years, according to Nestlé International Travel Retail following major category research undertaken by the company. 


Speaking to delegates at this week’s ACI Commercial and Retail Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, NITR General Manager Stewart Dryburgh said: “This ground-breaking research provides a platform for everyone involved in the category: brand owners, retailers and airports. We look forward to bringing this to life with our retail partners and reigniting category growth.”


TRBusiness Deputy Editor, Luke Barras-Hill is reporting live from the ACI event in Iceland via Twitter.


Based on the research findings, NITR says it has a fresh take on the drivers that are necessary to rejuvenate the confectionery and fine food category.  Used in conjunction with NITR’s SOUL framework (Stories, Occasions, Unique, Local), Dryburgh believes: “We can create the opportunities to kick-start a vigorous new growth curve for confectionery and fine foods.”


While chocolate will remain at the core of the sector, Dryburgh believes there is also significant potential to further develop the offering in other food sectors. “Within the Nestlé group we have a number of brands that we’re now looking at within this context,” he says.



In 2004, Dryburgh asserted that the confectionery category, then worth US$1.4bn could be doubled in five years.


This is the second time that NITR has made a bold forecast for the category; in 2004, Dryburgh asserted that the confectionery category, then worth US$1.4bn could be doubled in five years.


“We knew then that there were huge, untapped opportunities for confectionery in travel retail and, thanks to the support from retailers and other brand owners, we achieved that goal*,” he says. “If we all put our mind to it, I know that we can do it again.


“In 2004 the industry was valued at $25bn by Generation, compared to most recent figures now of $68.6bn. The travel retail industry has enjoyed monumental growth over the past 15 years – much of that in-line with increases in passenger traffic and, of course, the Asia Pacific travel explosion.


“Given the size, diversity and challenges of the market now, it will be a challenge – but we do believe it is achievable within ten.


“Whilst the confectionery and fine foods category has enjoyed truly dynamic growth and ahead of passenger traffic in the past, that has not been the case in more recent years.



“At NITR we’ve stopped and asked ourselves: Why is this? What’s changed?  But most importantly – What are we going to do about it? How are we going to reignite the growth of this exciting category?”


Based on the research, conducted by m1nd-set, NITR has identified three key purchasing motivators, each with their own individual set of reasons to buy: Elevated Experiences: including Travel Souvenir, Give Me a Boost and Experience & Indulge Deeper Connections: including All Year Round Gifting, Share and Connect, Celebrate the Seasons and Uplifting Breaks Better for You: including Health Snacks, Better Treats and Happy Parents-Happy Kids.


“These findings show that there are untapped motivations for us to leverage and under-exploited need states for us to commercialise,” adds Dryburgh. “We can provide shoppers and consumers with more of what they want. As ever it will be critical to deliver these offerings in context with the commercial strategies of our retail partners.”


* In 2010 confectionery sales reached $2.8bn according to Generation and was the third largest product subsector after women’s cosmetics and women’s fragrances. Together with fine foods, the category achieved sales of $3.6bn.


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