The Report, which is part of the TFWA Category Reports series, was produced by Counter Intelligence Retail 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.
The report concludes that confectionery is a major lure to shoppers and provides a welcome element of theater within the channel.
Confectionery has one of the highest levels of conversion, with nearly half (49%) of all visitors to the sector going on to make a purchase. This puts confectionery on a par with alcohol. Three in ten airport shoppers visit and 15% go on to purchase. Confectionery buying is also the most impulse driven, with almost two thirds buying on impulse, significantly higher than all buyers (41%).
The survey also confirmed the category’s appeal in the gifting category. Over a third of respondents bought confectionery as a gift, higher than any other category other than watches and jewelry. In addition, over half (54%) of travelers questioned said they would be tempted to buy a product that was a souvenir or was unique to the country they visited, highlighting the useful role confectionery can play in creating a ‘sense of place.’ Travel retail exclusives are also popular, largely because they are perceived to offer good value.
According to the survey, one in four of those buying confectionery choose a particular product because of its quality, making that the top driver of purchase, while one in five select an item ‘as a treat or reward’, or because it is ‘a well-known brand’.
With more than half (53%) of confectionery buyers knowing the brand or the product they would buy for their main confectionery item, half of them bought something other than their regular product and of these, a third bought an occasional product and 17% bought a product for the first time.
When it comes to price, the picture is not wholly positive. While a quarter of shoppers check prices before they arrive in store, only three in ten say they believe confectionery at the airport is cheaper than on the high street, which is the lowest of all categories. 18% of non-buyers in confectionery did not buy because they thought airport prices were more expensive.
“A great confectionery offer is the perfect way to catch the attention of shoppers, and appeal to the gift buyer as well as those looking to treat themselves,” says TFWA President Erik Juul-Mortensen. “Brands, retailers and airports could consider how they engage the customer and raise the perceived value of the category – whether that’s with appealing and exclusive products or attention-grabbing promotions – if they are to continue to drive sales in this core category.”
The full report is available as an exclusive benefit to TFWA members atwww.tfwa.com.