Mars Wrigley International Travel Retail (MITR) is to tap into the ‘€1bn on-the-go snacking opportunity’ with the introduction of Be-Kind products in DF&TR. This is after Mars Incorporated formed a strategic partnership with Kind LLC, a leader in the US snacking category.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will utilise each other’s strengths to grow Kind product offerings and business globally. In this instance, Kind will utilise MITR’s DF&TR experience as of 2020 when three ‘winning variants’ will be available.
Raghav Rekhi, Category Director, Mars Wrigley International Travel Retail said: “Travellers are looking for more on-the-go snacking options that work for their diverse needs. We believe there is tremendous opportunity to build on the success of Kind’s portfolio in the global travel retail market as we continue to broaden our portfolio to address evolving consumer needs.”
Founded in 2004, Kind LLC was one of the first snack brands to avoid artificial flavours and preservatives and put a nutrient-dense food (whole nuts) as the first and predominant ingredient.
FIRST LIMITED EDITION BAR
MITR will expand the Be-Kind brand in international travel retail. The collaboration allows Mars to enter an increasingly popular category and bring its ‘Do the KIND Thing for your body, your taste buds and your world’ brand motto to the fore. The partnership also highlights Mars’ commitment to ensuring products meet consumer demands and eating habits and offering various snacking options.
Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO, Kind said: “When we introduced our first whole nut and fruit bar in 2004, we set out on an ambitious mission to do things differently. We’re proud to partner with Mars, a family-owned, principles-driven company with a proven track record of holding a long-term view and look forward to working with them to make this a better world for future generations.”
Speaking at a press conference for members of the trade media during the recent TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, Christophe Bouye, Sales Director, Mars Wrigley International Travel Retail said: “On-the-go snacking is a massive opportunity in DF&TR which has not really been tapped into.
“I have been in domestic markets and travel retail for six years and the check-out and till-point are still not completely optimised. What we have uncovered through extensive research is that 28% of travellers want to snack-on-the go. There is clearly a need that has not been addressed yet. It has in some instances, but not fully.”
In terms of the solution, MITR believes in a full holistic offer — oral refreshment of gum or mint, chocolate treats with bars or bitesize and fruity confections. Elaborating on the partnership with Kind LLC, Bouye commented: “In 2020, we will complete our on-the-go snacking offer with the introduction of Be Kind products in certain European airports. The aim is to basically test the potential of the brand we believe in.”
He added: “We are talking about naturally delicious bars made with raw nuts. The packaging will be transparent so the product/ingredients can be seen.“
Following this year’s launch of M&M’s Salted Caramel across more than 100 airports, which contributed to a 42% increase in total sales of MITR’s medium pouches, the company is to introduce Skittles Mousse for 2020.
“This 42% increase is an impressive result. The reason we bring newness or limited editions is because it drives the rest of the category.”
NEW PACKS ON THE HORIZON
In other news, a limited edition bar will also be launched for the first time. “Based on the success of M&M’s Salted Caramel this year, we think this is going to another hit,” emphasised Bouye.
Innovating across the value segment is also a priority for MITR. Bouye commented: “We have two ways to look at value. The first is looking at the profile of travellers. Some of them, especially millennials are a bit more in tune in terms of how they engage with brands.
“Some of them in certain areas of the world such as Asia and the Middle East are more in tune with pricing accessibility. In 2020 we will, therefore deliver two packs.”
He continued: “We already have one pack with a price point of around €9.50 and are going to introduce one below €8. This new format, which is around 333 grams will be launched across all of our key brands and address the need of some travellers looking for value in terms of pricing accessibility.”
In addition, the company is also innovating in every-day gifting following the success of its M&M’s Candy Tin. This is the number one ‘unique format’ in travel retail, according to Bouye who remarked: “We know that with a range costing below €10 we will provide an every-day gifting solution for travellers.
“In 2020, we will introduce Celebration and Maltesers to complete the range of Candy Tins.”