Family-owned Mast-Jägermeister SE has reported double-digit DF&TR growth in 2017 describing the year as ‘one of its best’ in the channel.
Duty Free and travel retail, the company’s fourth-largest market has only been a major focus for the past six years, but the company has made significant strides during this period.
Speaking during the recent launch of the Oktoberfest pop-up at Munich Airport Terminal 2, for which TRBusinesswas the sole DF&TR media attendee, Director of Global Travel Retail, Dietmar Franke said: “When we look at strategy we look at regions first. Our main region will remain Europe, but we are also looking to the Americas and Asia as we extend our footprint.”
He added: “In terms of how we communicate, it is about visibility in-store, build-ups, installations and special editions like the City Label Edition which we look to invest in. These elements will drive the brand forward.”
Airport activations focusing on certain times of the year like Halloween and Oktoberfest have played a key part in the evolution of the company’s travel retail business. Franke said: “Activations such as the Halloween one last year were very successful. It was implemented in several countries and was very noticeable.”
Regarding activities around Oktoberfest, this is the first year Jägermeister has created a pop-up at Munich Airport, according to Franke. “This is the fourth year of running Oktoberfest promotions and in my opinion the Munich shop-in-shop is our best so far.
“Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival and Jägermeister and beer are a great combination.
“When we began focusing on Oktoberfest we immediately noticed a very good reaction from customers. Having developed our brand architecture for retail, this is just a great way of promoting and making us visible and stronger in-store.”
The eight-week Munich T2 pop-up, may not yield an immediate financial benefit, “but as people pass through, we will gain brand contacts in a super-premium way at a super-premium location,” emphasised Franke.
On the product front, the company is now in the second year with its premium Jägermeister Manifest products in duty free and travel retail. Launched exclusively with Gebr Heinemann at selected airports in 2017, it is now being introduced in other selected international airports.
“It has a limited production so we cannot go worldwide at every distribution point,” Franke acknowledged. “We will focus on key locations with Heinemann and add other locations internationally. It will be a very slow build. We want to make sure the brand is there to stay so it won’t be over promoted in the next couple of years.”
This year, the company has also launched its travel retail exclusive City Line featuring destination-themed bottling. The range centres on various European cities including Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam, Oslo, Vienna, Auckland and Sydney and will be extended next year.
Bottles are available in one-litre variants at an RRP of €17.50 ($20.40) and were initially only available in Heinemann Duty Free stores.
“This is a brand-new concept which fits the whole brand appearance on the shelf,” said Franke. “It is Jägermeister and a great souvenir for people travelling by.”
Four newly designed gift-packs which are exclusive to the channel have also been introduced this year. Available across all markets, the packs offer a gift with purchase and feature two 50-centilitre bottles with shot-glasses, a 1.75-litre bottle with two shot-glasses, a 1-litre bottle with two metal shot-cups and a one-litre bottle in a silver tin-box.
Franke commented: “These have been skus in our travel retail assortment since the very beginning. We have extended the range and made it more up-market with more premium gifts. They are a great addition to the standard products on the shelf.”
The company, which has also rolled out a new brand identity highlighting Jägermeister’s heritage, has an ‘airport priority plan’ as far as travel retail is concerned.
“We are very strong, especially here in Northern Europe with Heinemann,” said Franke. “We are looking to extend into other countries like the UK and Spain along with Latin American nations including Brazil, Chile and Argentina. We are building step by step.”
The long-standing partnership with Heinemann is clearly a win-win situation for both parties. Gebr. Heinemann Account Manager in Munich Oliver Hein told TRBusiness: “It is a key partnership for us because Jägermeister is a family owned company like Heinemann.
“From the beginning, the relationship worked really well. It is a German company like us and one of our most important spirits brands.”
Franke, who revealed the company is working on a travel retail promotion theme based on the ice cold serve of Jägermeister, said the aim was to continue focusing on the travel retail exclusive line and ‘uniquess’ of Jaegermeister.
“We are not doing price-off activities. We are growing generically from our assortment and demand of our customers.
“We are heading towards the finishing line in 2018 and looking to 2019 to do better than what we are doing right now. We will also look at digitalisation next year.”
Head of Customer Development, Global Travel Retail, Hans-Manuel Vogt remarked: “Jägermeister is a global brand in more than 133 countries worldwide. Our dream is to adapt to specific demands of the market and stamp our authority in Asia.”
Head of Trade Marketing Global Travel Retail, Stephanie Cleary concluded: “Building on the success of Munich and Oktoberfest, we are working with Heinemann on the Istanbul New Airport. We will have a special edition bottle called Jägermeister Precision Design Edition. That will be available exclusively at Frankfurt Airport in October and November to launch the opening of that airport.”