TFWA: drinks category research highlights how to up appeal of core sector

Value for money remains a critical driver in the drinks sector and is key to increasing footfall, conversion and spend, according to the latest research from TFWA.

The study, which was conducted by travel retail research specialist Counter Intelligence Retail, revealed that over half of passengers (53%) believe they will find a price advantage for spirits by shopping at the airport. This is higher than any other travel retail category. Half of those taking part in the study say they would be encouraged to purchase in the future if prices were cheaper; a substantial 38% check prices before they go to the airport.

After price, respondents said that the wide range of products was the next most compelling reason to buy. In addition, one in four of those surveyed stated that they would be tempted to buy in the future if a broader selection was available.

Travel retail exclusives are also important to alcohol shoppers, and just under two thirds (61%) said that good value is the most important attraction; 49% said that they like being able to buy products that aren’t available elsewhere.

A significant two thirds (62%) purchase for themselves, and on average buyers spend more on alcohol when buying for them-selves than when buying a gift. Just one in five responding con-sider alcohol as suitable for gifting.

Product sampling and gift with purchase are the most appealing promotional initiatives (say 52%). Lack of anything that catches the eye is the main barrier to purchase cited by just under a third (32%), while the absence of attractive promotions is a barrier to purchase for one in five.

Planned spending on alcohol in duty free and travel retail shops is significantly higher than among buyers in all other categories combined. While half of buyers in all categories plan their purchase, two thirds of alcohol buyers plan their purchase in advance. While two in five shoppers across all categories know what brand they will choose, three in four alcohol shoppers know the brand they wish to buy.

Commenting on the results, TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen said:

“Price is still clearly an important motivator to purchase alcohol at the airport, and retailers need to do all they can to ensure that the value proposition is fully understood by passengers. However driving sales in this sector will be about more than cost cutting.

“There is clearly substantial opportunity to encourage customers with initiatives such as engaging gift with purchase promotions as well as capitalizing on the appeal of the travel retail exclusive. Developing gifting also represents an untapped opportunity, and there is room for growth here too,” he added.

The TFWA Alcohol Duty Free and Travel Retail Category Report was compiled by Counter Intelligence Retail. It was based on approximately 1,000 shopper interviews conducted at four key airports across the globe. A minimum of 50% of the sample were duty free buyers. Each interview lasted approximately 15 minutes.

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