Pernod Ricard to develop new analysis tool measuring environmental impact

By Andrew Pentol |

Mohit Lal, Chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail.

Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail (PR GTR) is developing a company-owned life cycle analysis tool, which will enable it to measure the environmental impact of its products and services.

The tool is being developed by PR GTR’s retail design team in charge of the conception and production of high-profile promotions and permanent merchandising units worldwide.

Mohit Lal, Chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail told TRBusiness: “The new tool will enable us to measure the environmental impact of our products throughout their full life cycles, ranging from the material resources used for production and their impact during usage, to their final end-of-life destination.

“This data will allow us to constantly improve and optimise our product impact.”

Lal, who was speaking to TRBusiness as part of our whisky/whisk(e)y report in the March e-zine, revealed the company has used the ‘quieter period’ as a result of the pandemic to focus more on its core sustainability mission.

LIQUID INNOVATION A KEY TREND

“We have eliminated single-use plastic polybags from our gifts with purchase, for example, which are now wrapped into non-woven bags or paper.”

Ballantine’s is the number one luxury Scotch whisky in Korea with a strong domestic and travel retail presence, according to Mohit Lal, Chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail.

While the trend for sustainability is apparent in the whisky/whisk(e)y segment, Lal pinpointed liquid innovation as another underlying trend across the category, particularly in GTR. He explained: “It is often said that the global travel retail space is the industry’s best test market, as it is where products and brands are globalised.

“Speaking about the whisky category specifically, we are seeing an increased focus on innovation, with new blends, cask finishes and taste explorations for consumers at all prices.

“We also continue to see travel retail-exclusive products high on the agenda for travellers, as they are often looking for products which they can’t find at home. These act as souvenirs for their trip or build on their in-home collection.”

Pernod Ricard boasts a comprehensive and diverse portfolio of whiskies spanning several categories including blended Scotch whisky, malts and Irish whiskey.

Chivas Regal is Pernod Ricard’s best-selling brand in global travel retail.

Its blended Scotch whisky range includes the Royal Salute brand, within which sits the iconic 21-year-old luxury blend. “In travel retail, this blend is number one in value and volume in the prestige Scotch category, as ranked by the IWSR in 2019,” Lal remarked.

Chivas Regal, Pernod’s best-selling GTR brand boasts a strong and diverse offer across all price points. He added: “We continue to drive growth in the super-premium and ultra-premium segments through innovations including unique cask finishes and new flavour explorations.”

An important brand for the Asian market, Lal revealed Ballantine’s is the number one luxury Scotch whisky in Korea with a strong domestic and travel retail presence.

Over in Europe, he described Ballantine’s as a leading and fast-growing brand, driven by the Ballantine’s Finest blend.

The company’s malt portfolio is spearheaded by The Glenlivet brand.

On the company’s malts portfolio, spearheaded by The Glenlivet brand, he identified The Glenlivet’s GTR exclusive Triple Cask Matured Distiller’s Reserve as its top performing single malt by volume in 2019.

“Besides The Glenlivet, our malt range includes The Secret Speyside collection, a range of very rare single malts from small, remote distilleries that give unique offerings and our much-revered Aberlour single malt whisky, of which the latest release is the 14-year-old edition.”

Acknowledging the increased appetite for Irish whiskey over the years, Lal said it had been among the fastest growing whiskey segments. “Our iconic Jameson brand has led this growth and as a result enjoys strong presence in the channel.

“We also have a number of boutique brands, such as Redbreast and Midleton, that are consolidating their presence too.”

CONSUMER-CENTRIC APPROACH

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, PR GTR is focused on maintaining its consumer-centric approach and having products for all consumers and occasions. Lal commented: “Our strength lies in our comprehensive portfolio, which offers the right product assortment for all key shopper segments.

“This, together with our ability to understand shopper motivations and drive conversion in-store through strong partnerships with customers, provides the necessary fuel to expand the value pool for spirits in the channel.

“Whisky is the largest category in the channel and offers significant opportunity for growth, hence a strong focus on this portfolio will be very much part of our strategy.”

Boutique Irish whiskey brands such as Midleton are consolidating their presence in duty free and travel retail.

During the course of the year, PR GTR will further solidify its base offerings, giving momentum to more recent launches. It will also introduce new offerings timed in accordance with the pace and scale of the recovery.

“We remain steadfast as ever in our belief in this channel and its strategic relevance for the wines and spirits category.

“We are confident about being very well positioned to continue to lead the value growth of this channel and further consolidate our leadership position as the recovery gathers pace.”

Pernod Ricard’s blended Scotch whisky range includes the Royal Salute brand.

Recruiting new whisky consumers and helping them understand the category remains a significant challenge for PR GTR. This is due to the competitive nature of the whisky sector within the overall alcohol segment.

“We will continue to address this by gaining deeper insights vis-a-vis their shopper missions and then deploying the right tools and product range to meet those needs.”

Ensuring it can offer a broad range of products covering the full life cycle of a whisky drinker — from a new younger consumer’s taste exploration through to the tastes of a mature drinker — is a further challenge.

Lal concluded: “We understand these consumers are on a whisky journey, so it is our mission to deploy a range of offerings they can explore as they refine their tastes, while constantly looking to drive the right level of premiumisation.

“At PR GTR we remain committed to delivering products that are exclusive to the channel, whether it be travel exclusives or limited-edition collectables, giving travellers the incentive to purchase our brands.”

Click here to read the whisky/whiskey report in the TRBusiness March e-zine.

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