Campari Global Travel Retail has continued to invest in the segment with overwhelmingly positive results since Leigh Irvine joined the company from Bacardi in July 2016.
“We have had a very strong and successful 2016, and the momentum has only grown into 2017. The latest IWSR data shows us moving up from 10th to 8th in the liquor category supplier rankings, and we are very aware of how much opportunity is still out there,” says Irvine, Senior Director, Campari Global Travel Retail.
Irvine says Campari’s travel retail growth has been led by the success of Aperol around the world, but also by the entire spirits portfolio.
“We mirror the company focus on the core global portfolio and that singleminded approach has seen all of those priority brands in robust growth – leading to the overall healthy picture. Obviously, the continuing explosion and globalization of Aperol is seeing amazing growth in both new and mature markets, but honestly the growth rates are pretty similar across the whole portfolio.”
One strategically important development for Campari in the past couple of years was to define what role travel retail would play for the company. Since it has figured that out, success has followed.
“To secure the long-term future of the channel for our brands, we, as Campari GTR, have needed to firstly devise a plan for what that future should look like and a roadmap of how to get there. The first steps on that journey have been to deliver short term commercial and brand success to build momentum behind the strategy. We have successfully ticked that box and aligned the wider Campari organization behind the role that GTR should play.
“Whilst we have engaged our internal audience, we have also been working hard on building deeper and more sustainable win/win relationships with our key customers, relationships designed to provide a successful mid to long term future for both sides. This is already bearing fruit and developing case studies for us to export further around the channel.”
With the company based in Italy, Campari does particularly well in Europe, but the company’s growth has exploded in the Americas, says Irvine.
“Partly due to structural reasons, partly strategic reasons and partly portfolio prioritization reasons we historically had a stronger presence in Europe. However, opportunities exist for us in the channel as a whole, specifically outside of Western Europe. For example, last year our growth rates in the Americas were in triple digits. We have driven that growth through designing a short term and long term structure and resource allocation plan. That has started with recruiting the right leadership for the region, establishing our route to market, re-engaging with the customer base and now moving on to filling in the rest of the people and investment. It is a model we will replicate globally.”
Diego Lord, who also joined Campari from Bacardi, became Travel Retail Director Americas in April 2016. Irvine says the Campari travel retail team is still growing and adding people and resources around the world to challenge its larger competitors.
“To date, we have restructured the regions and support functions and found high quality leaders for all of the core structural pillars of our business going forward. But we are still punching way above our weight from a structural perspective.”