Nestlé ITR shares routes to ‘delighting consumers’ through ‘fundamentals’

By Charlotte Turner |

During a press conference held this week, Nestlé International Travel Retail (NITR) shared its 2022 plans and its route to ‘delighting consumers’ by ‘focusing on fundamentals’.  


Nestlé’s General Manager Stewart Dryburgh revealed that the border business and categories outside of Nestlé’s core confectionery products had produced encouraging results, bolstering the company’s recovery so far.


“Although traffic is still well down on 2019, passenger traffic will recover and we’re already seeing increases in footfall and average spend per head where consumers are able to celebrate their freedom,” said Dryburgh.


“We foresee growth accelerating through 2022 but, mindful of ever-increasing ecommerce, our biggest challenge remains ‘how do we continue to drive footfall and spend?’



“The answer lies in delighting consumers with a portfolio cognisant of what’s important to them and in particular this includes sustainable offerings and self-treat products.”



Dryburgh talked about ‘headwinds’ of inconsistent vaccine rollout, significant cost pressures on raw materials, packaging and transport.


Nestlé ITR's General Manager Stewart Dryburgh.

Nestlé ITR’s General Manager Stewart Dryburgh.

“It’s been tough for the entire industry…trying to get container ships in and out of ports is just one issue…Ports can’t keep up with the development of bigger container ships,” added Dryburgh. “There are also cyclical raw material issues.”



NITR has identified three fundamental routes to ‘delighting customers’ which involve growing its trusted brands, by driving premiumisation, introducing relevant and exclusive new products.


Secondly, it will lead with ‘regeneration’, through the Nestlé Cocoa Plan and Nescafé’s commitments in addition to the introduction of 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025, and reduction of greenhouse emissions towards a goal of Net Zero.


Finally, NITR will engage consumers through enhanced instore activations and digital content.


This strategy will of course be underpinned by the fundamentals, which Nestlé identifies as the following: ensuring supply; executing the right range for the right location in addition to making financially prudent investments.


During the press conference, Tamara Spada, Marketing Manager, NITR also shared the latest product innovations from the company’s hero confectionery brands KitKat, Smarties and Nestlé Swiss along with After Eight.



Hazelnut and Cocoa Nibs is one of two new flavours being introduced to the KitKat Pops range.

Hazelnut and Cocoa Nibs is one of two new flavours being introduced to the KitKat Pops range.

Outside of confectionery the spotlight on Nescafé will continue, following impressive growth in the last two years (despite covid challenges), and new emphasis will be placed on premium infant formula range Illuma and milk powder Nido, highlighting NITR’s commitment to growing the wider food category.


KitKat in particular has shown its resilience during the pandemic with travel retail sales reaching 60% of 2019 levels this year. Nestlé predicts a recovery to almost 80% of 2019 sales by next year.


2022 will see the KitKat ‘Live Your Break’ campaign enhanced through digital communication that emphasises the brand’s positioning in GTR as well as instore experiences supported by the iconic Red Bus.


Continuing to drive premiumisation, exclusivity and value, the KitKat Senses Tablets will be joined by a new 10-finger Roasted Almond variant from May 2022.



Also being introduced are new flavours for KitKat Pops, targeted specifically at non-airport channels: Hazelnut & Cocoa Nibs and Peanut Corn. Both are exclusive to GTR.


This year Smarties became the first global confectionery brand to switch to recyclable paper packaging. Building on its principals of ‘Learn Through Play’, the Smarties sustainable range will be joined by a new GTR exclusive Activity Kit featuring a fun-filled book of puzzles, stickers and activities, 8 coloured pencils and a delicious multipack of four Smarties Hexatubes. All this comes stored in a reusable colourful branded tin.

The Smarties sustainable range will be joined by a new GTR exclusive Activity Kit.

The Smarties sustainable range will be joined by a new GTR exclusive Activity Kit.

An optimised portfolio focuses on tablets for Nestlé Swiss; an 100% travel retail exclusive brand. “With a greater emphasis on the popular and highly indulgent 170g tablets as well as 300g tablets and chunks bags, Nestlé Swiss targets consumers looking to purchase this authentically Swiss premium chocolate,” said Nestlé.


“Fresh, innovative ideas are vital for travel retail and, capitalising on the growing popularity of cocktails, NITR is introducing a new Mojito & Mint limited edition flavour for After Eight.”


“We believe it is vital to support category growth beyond confectionery,” added Spada. “Our research shows that there are significant untapped opportunities for trusted brands such as Nescafé and Nido in GTR, while illuma has a specific Chinese target.”



Nestlé saw impressive triple-digit growth for Nescafé in 2019, with a further increase recorded last year despite the challenges of Covid-19. “We know that there are still unfulfilled consumer needs within the travel retail coffee market,” said Spada.


“Taste is the top priority for shoppers when they make coffee purchases, yet 77% of instant coffee offers don’t satisfy all shopper taste preferences.


“Nescafé is planning to change that with the introduction of two Nescafé Gold Blend Roastery Selection flavour profiles: Rich & Intense with notes of smooth milk chocolate and roasted almond, and Smooth & Delicate with notes of rich caramel and toasted biscuit.”


Offered in 100% plastic free 95g packaging, these two distinct coffees are expected to drive higher shopper basket spend.


Illuma, Wyeth’s Super Premium infant formula range targets ‘uncompromising pioneer mothers’ and has a strong following in China. Ideal to meet the needs of Chinese travelling mothers, the brand will focus on retail opportunities in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, ready for the return of passenger traffic.


Finally, Nido, which Nestlé describes as a ‘globally trusted brand, available in more than 50 countries’, will be offered as a complete portfolio of products to address the nutritional needs of growing children and families, supported by attractive instore point of sale. “A traditional powerhouse brand in the Middle East and Africa.”


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