Survey scotches price obsession

27 August, 2008
Page 14 
Recent consumer research undertaken by Diageo has cast doubt on whether price is a key consideration for duty-free spirits buyers.

The research challenges one of the cornerstones of the industry - that the channel must offer a significant price saving over the domestic market.

The research consisted of interviews with more than 600 spirits buyers travelling through Singapore, Frankfurt and New York JFK airports. Half of the respondents were residents in the respective countries and half were foreign visitors.

One of the research's key findings was that more than 80 per cent of travellers think travel retail is either "good value" or "very good value". Fifty per cent of respondents' total spirits purchases were made in travel retail and more than 40 per cent bought spirits every time they travelled .

Another surprising find is that 65 per cent of buyers had no expectation of how much money they were going to spend on liquor before arriving at the airport. Moreover, half of respondents couldn't recall what price they paid in the duty-free store they had just visited.

Global Travel & Middle East commercial director, Peter Jacobson, said: "In this industry we have an obsession with price as the main driver of purchases.

"However, although purchasers will always say price is important to them if asked directly, our findings show that price is not the be all and end all of every decision."

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