IWSR Trends Forum highlights importance of travel retail for global alcohol industry

IWSR highlighted the importance of travel retail for the global alcohol industry during a Trends Forum at the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes.

The Forum featured a Global Trends presentation and a panel discussion on future growth opportunities for wine and spirits in the duty free and travel retail channel, chaired by Doug Newhouse with panelists Nodjame Fouad, vice president marketing global travel retail, Pernod Ricard; Paul Topping, international director, Flemingo; Guy Bodescot CEO and director general of SDA ADP (Aéroports de Paris and Lagardère Travel Retail 50:50 JV); Marshall Farrer; senior vice president man-aging director global travel retail and developed APAC, Brown-Forman; and Andrew Ford, president of the Asia-Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA).

If the travel retail channel was classified as a country, it would rank in the top five markets for most of the leading spirits producers.

Total travel retail volumes for liquor grew 4.1% in 2017 to reach 32.3m nine-liter cases, while value grew 6.8% to reach $9.5bn. Europe was the fastest-growing region for value (+8.1%), followed by Asia-Pacific (+7.6%).

IWSR reports that travel retail liquor is in good health, yet below the top-line numbers many challenges and opportunities abound, including a changing traveler profile, the growing relevance of millennial and emerging-market

consumers and e-commerce.

Marshall Farrer, Brown-Forman: “We’ve seen a real resurgence in the European market. It’s a very important business to us. We still source a lot of growth out of consumers and nationalities that might be viewed as a bit more mature for smaller companies and so having strength coming out of the European business has been fantastic. The softening of the US dollar helped the Americas a bit and the next thing that continues to be a nice growth area for us is Asia.”

Jack Daniel’s saw travel retail sales rise 17% to top 1m nine-liter-equivalent cases in 2017.

Arrivals shopping is on the rise, notably in India and Brazil. China and Japan are also introducing expanded arrivals shopping – a sector that will become much bigger in coming years.

The IWSR presentation also highlighted emerging trends that are crossing over from the domestic channel, including the importance of e-commerce, emerging technology which makes it easier to blend the physical and digital retail experience, the consumers’ desire for luxury as well as a greater demand for convenience.