R.O.C.K.S. Whiskey Chilling Stones speeds expansion with Lufthansa listing

By Faye Bartle |

Rob Robertaccio | Senior Vice President Global & Travel Retail Sales rrobertaccio@egluck.com E. Gluck Corp.

SPONSORED CONTENT: R.O.C.K.S. Whiskey Chilling Stones is gaining traction inflight, with a new listing with Lufthansa going live on 1 April, adding to its recent wins with Air Busan and Greater Bay Airlines, and there’s more to be announced in the coming weeks says the company’s Founder Quentin Depigny.

“Our debut in travel retail with Korean Air last year has helped us to create a very successful case study showcasing the sales potential of our products,” he explained.

“We have since partnered with other airlines and expect this channel to be our biggest and fastest growing one in travel retail for 2024.

“The Original Rocks is an excellent fit for inflight shopping. It’s about the same weight and size as a perfume. Plus, it’s an evergreen product airlines can push year-round.

“We have, however, also seen a great fit on airline pre-order websites where our larger gift sets do very well.

“Regarding cruises, we received interest and I think operators are keen to explore our brand as it’s an impulsive gift purchase.

“For airport placements, it’s been key for us to showcase to operators examples of existing retail displays and clearly illustrate the sales strategy to make it easy for them to consider our brand.

“For example, we recently launched with Singapore-based One World Duty Free and have our products in their flagship downtown store at the Singapore Flyer. We are therefore putting our efforts now to activate the brand in store and work on displays.”

Rob Robertaccio | Senior Vice President Global & Travel Retail Sales rrobertaccio@egluck.com E. Gluck Corp.

For those who may not yet be familiar with the product, The Original Rocks consists of six premium granite rocks that are handcrafted and polished without the use of any harsh agents.

They are designed for spirits connoisseurs to enjoy their whisky at the ideal tasting temperature without diluting it, as an alternative to ice cubes. They can be stored in the freezer and are reusable.

“I think very few products on the market are designed with lifetime usage in mind nowadays. So, for us this has actually become a strength and differentiating factor in our marketing,” said Depigny.

Rated by shoppers

The Original Rocks is amplifying its recognition in the channel with success in the consumer-voted Global Travel Retail Award for Best Sustainable Product 2023, sponsored by Moroccanoil.

The product also secured Highly Recommended status in the same category in the 2024 Asia Pacific Travel Retail Awards.

Rob Robertaccio | Senior Vice President Global & Travel Retail Sales rrobertaccio@egluck.com E. Gluck Corp.

“To see the brand get rewarded in such a prestigious contest was truly amazing,” said Depigny. “It also coincided with our first year in travel retail, a very important chapter in the company’s development.

“We know we have a best-seller and shoppers have rated us positively for years but to actually compete with some of the best brands in the world is a very different thing. Personally, I was very proud of what the brand achieved and are thrilled about this experience.

“Shoppers validating our product has helped us better communicate with operators on our eco-friendly credentials in a clear and measurable way.

“With a crowded space already, winning the awards has helped us put a spotlight on our brand to better stand out. The logo is also a tool we now leverage to differentiate on the market as a winning product and use it in our marketing to maximise our sales. All of this combined has certainly had a positive outcome for our business in travel retail.”

Maximising opportunities for growth

Brand growth began ‘horizontally’, with a strategy to reaching as many points of sale as possible to position the product as a top choice.

“Thanks to our strong logistics infrastructure, we were able to build our international distribution to capture market share and establish the brand name with wines & spirits retailers but also in homeware/gifts,” explained Depigny.

“We are now scaling vertically with larger retailers, such as in those in travel retail. With the size and depth of these retailers, it is very easy for them to utilise our product assortment to maximise their bottom line through advanced cross-selling sales techniques, and to see results quickly.”

The company has also launched a range of gift sets and glassware to build the assortment. The giftability factor can help to drive incremental sales when these products are positioned within the wines & spirits category.

Rob Robertaccio | Senior Vice President Global & Travel Retail Sales rrobertaccio@egluck.com E. Gluck Corp.

“To drive growth in the future, our priority will be to continue creating complementary products to the Rocks to increase our audience reach and sales potential,” said Depigny. “We will also be leveraging our Rocks in collaboration projects with brands/distilleries to create limited edition gift sets.”

Rocks is also in discussion with a number of major airport operators, as Depigny revealed: “We expect to win new business in 2024.”

“A major goal for 2024 is to continue our rapid expansion within the inflight channel, to further expand our presence in more regions and strengthen our brand name in travel retail,” he continued.

“We are also excited to be collaborating with operators on launching our creative retail displays in more stores and enable cross-selling and gifting opportunities within the travel retail wines and spirits category.”

Contact Quentin Depigny at [email protected] or visit him during the TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference at the Hanse Distribution booth 2-H01.

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