The high-flyers

This year's DI Travel Retail Awards saw premium products, innovative packaging and creative concepts battle it out for their respective crowns
27 August, 2008
Page 16 
The duty-free and travel-retail business may only generate a small part of drinks companies' overall turnovers, but it has always punched above its weight. It attracts a diverse, affluent and knowledgeable customer base, and has proved time and again it is a fantastic brand shop window, as well as the ideal place to sell super-premium products and test new launches.

The US$5 billion trade faces undoubted challenges, not least the aviation security restrictions on liquids, which have done so much to damage consumer confidence in duty-free shopping in the past year. Yet the duty-free sector is buzzing with new ideas, creativity and dynamic individuals, who are doing their utmost not only to move the business forward, but to protect it from external threats.

The inaugural Drinks International Travel Retail Awards 2007 honours a business, which despite its many problems, continues to have a bright future.
== Best International Drinks Launch at the TFWA World Exhibition 2007

Winner: Viktor & Rolf Rosé Sauvage Champagne ==

Some would argue Veuve Clicquot has been the most creative Champagne brand in travel retail in recent years, releasing a number of stylish travel packs, but this quirky offering from Rémy's Piper-Heidsieck caught our eye at this year's show.

A collaborative effort with famous Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf, the upside-down bottle of Rosé Sauvage is cleverly and skilfully realised, as are the accompanying ice bucket and flutes. In short, we thought this was a fun product with great gift potential. World Duty Free clearly thought the same, listing it in time for the peak Christmas travel period.== Highly commended: Glengoyne Burnfoot, Ian Macleod Distillers ==
The design of this new travel-retail exclusive single malt whisky from Ian Macleod cleverly blends modern touches - such as GPS map contours - with the old, as the name refers to the distillery's original 19th-century title. The product is also more than just a packaging exercise - the whisky has been specially formulated by the master blender to attract new consumers to the Glengoyne brand.== Best Re-packaging of an Existing Alcoholic Drinks Brand Winner: Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey ==

The new packaging for Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey impressed us with its satisfyingly heavy, cube-shaped decanter and more contemporary label. It's a big improvement on the previous packaging and testament to the creative flair of the in-house design team at Protégé International, the brand's marketing consultant.

Wild Geese's inspiration? the famous flight of Irish noblemen and soldiers from English rule in Ireland in the 17th century - has been highlighted by a new 1691 medallion on the bottle. The year commemorates the year the nobles fled.== Highly Commended: Nemiroff, Nemiroff Vodka Company ==

A complete update of Nemiroff's range of classical Ukrainian grain vodkas saw a family of new, more striking bottles, labels and caps . The labels feature hi-tech anti-counterfeit detailing, designed by Claessens International.== Highly Commended: Beefeater gin, Chivas Bros ==

The new -look bottle for Beefeater gin stands out much better, with a stronger, squarer bottle shape, refreshed logo and a redrawn Yeoman Warder. More importantly, the unique London provenance of the brand is highlighted with the words : Made in London .== Most Effective Travel Retail In-store Promotion for an Alcoholic Drinks Brand Winner: Win the Chivas Life' ==

The booming Middle East duty-free business has always thrived on high-profile promotions and this example from Chivas Regal - which gave travellers the chance to win a luxury Dubai Marina apartment for a year by entering a special draw online - delivered on all fronts.

State-owned Dubai Duty Free , Chivas' retail partner for the promotion, was delighted that the promotion showcased Dubai as a destination. The online entry mechanism also meant minimal in-store disruption for DDF. Sales of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old rose by 36 per cent, with the more expensive 18 Year Old doing even better - up 69 per cent versus regular promotional months.== Highly Commended: Veuve Clicquot Love seat, LVMH ==

Celebrated designer Karim Rashid's beautiful and fun Veuve Clicquot Love seat installation at Brussels airport this summer not only created a talking point for travellers, it helped drive up Belgium Sky Shops' overall Champagne sales by 20 per cent.== Highly Commended: Krug Picnic Trunk, Krug ==

This amazing US$45,000 picnic trunk, complete with 88 designer accessories, went on sale at Hong Kong airport this year. One of only 30 worldwide, the trunk provided duty-free concessionaire Sky Connection with a great piece of in-store theatre and helped drive up overall Champagne sales.== Travel Retail Heroes

Frank O'Connell, director retail Aer Rianta; European Travel Retail Council president; Travel Value Association chairman ==

Lobbyist O'Connell has been a tireless champion of the duty-free and travel-retail industry over the years. He was at the forefront of attempts to save duty -free within the European Union in the late 90s.

More recently, in his role as president of European Travel Retail Council, he has spearheaded the industry's global campaign to resolve problems caused by airport security restrictions on liquids in hand luggage. It's been a tough job.

His hectic schedule of meetings and briefings with politicians and industry stakeholders over the past year has been punishing, but he has never let his frustration - at the industry's failure to see the gravity of the challenges it faces - show. It is difficult to believe he holds down a day job at Aer Rianta or that the industry will be able to fill his shoes when he decides to call it a day.== Highly commended: Ron Anderson, Diageo managing director global travel & Middle East ==Only a few years ago the duty-free channel was a low priority for the British drinks giant, but Anderson's appointment has helped raise the profile of the company internally. He has also become a regular face on the industry conference circuit, where he has been a passionate supporter of the various industry stakeholders - retailers, airports and brand owners - working more closely together.

Anderson has completely restructured the company's duty-free division, recruiting top executives to improve customer service, to drive up sales and create some exciting in-store brand merchandising and promotions.

The results have been impressive - global sales in duty -free have been rising faster than in the domestic market and several launches, including the new Baileys flavours, have been trialled in duty -free before key domestic markets.---- === Best Travel Retail Drinks Launch 2007 ===== Winner: Grey Goose La Poire ==

Bacardi Global Travel Retail Division pulled out all the stops for the upscale launch of new flavour Grey Goose La Poire at Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2 last April.

BGTR teamed up with Paris CDG duty-free operator Aelia and top fashion set designer Michael Howells to create three couture La Poire windows at the airport as a centre piece for the launch. Other initiatives included in-store bars serving Grey Goose La Poire cocktails, free cocktail recipe booklets for passengers and in-store promot ions.

Sales of Grey Goose L'Original rose 110 per cent in the first three weeks of the launch, with La Poire achieving L'Original's old volume in the same time period. Consumer interest was sustained later in the year with the opening of a temporary Grey Goose store.== Highly Commended: Gran Patrón Burdeos tequila,

The Patrón Spirits Company ==

This ultra-premium US$400 añejo tequila, finished in Bordeaux wine barrels, opened a new chapter for the growing duty-free tequila category on its launch earlier this year. Housed in a crystal bottle and black walnut box, the luxurious presentation of Gran Patrón Burdeos is the perfect riposte to those duty-free liquor buyers who still believe the white spirits sector lacks the premium potential of tried-and-trusted Cognac and Scotch whisky.----=== Most Creative Alcoholic Drinks Packaging Design ===== Winner: Rémy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl ==

The increasing importance of wealthy Russian and Chinese travellers has given the ultra-premium duty-free cognac category added significance in recent years. And in our view this stunning limited edition inspired by the original Louis XIII metal flask found on French battlefields in the 16th century, and later acquired by the Rémy Martin family, was an ideal collectors' item for this nouveau riche market.

The black Baccarat carafe and luxurious presentation coffret featured all the right luxury cues for a limited-edition cognac priced at a jaw -dropping €6,000.== Highly commended: Smokehead Extra Rare, Ian Macleod Distillers ==

A stylish 1-litre line extension to the already successful Smokehead. The embossed and debossed tin and striking typography of the original packaging design remains, but the colour scheme is different and some subtle quality cues have been added such as a Hessian-style drawstring bag.== Highly Commended: Ron Zacapa XO, Rones de Guatemala ==

This fantastic super-premium Guatemalan rum gets the luxury XO cognac packaging treatment it richly deserves. We particularly like the subtle inclusion of the brand's signature straw binding on the decanter.----=== Most Creative Marketing Concept ===== Winner: Johnnie Walker - Winners Always Stay in Control ==

The important "don't drink and drive" message was given an engaging, thought-provoking and, dare we say it, glamorous, spin with Diageo's global Winners Always Stay in Control marketing campaign. It saw interactive games installed at airports focusing on the control drivers in Formula 1 motor racing require to be winners. The campaign sought to communicate that control is paramount when it comes to the consumption of alcohol too.

High-profile drivers such as Mi ka Häkkinen and Juan Pablo Montoya appeared at airports to encourage travellers to sign up to "the pledge " that they would never drink and drive. Johnnie Walker sponsors the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team.

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