Mondelez pioneering digital in the confectionery category

Ivo Knuesel, Head of Category Planning, Mondelez World Travel Retail, is participating in this year’s ACI EUROPE Airport Commercial & Retail Conference & Exhibition. He shared a preview of his thoughts on transformational disruptors in the airport commercial space with Ross Falconer.

Ivo Knuesel, Head o f Category Planning, Mondelez World Travel Retail: “The way travellers behave and shop has been changed vastly by technology; our job is to keep on top of this change, and continue to engage the hyperconnected next generation – or, as we call them, ‘Next Gen’ – travellers.”

This year’s ACI EUROPE Airport Commercial & Retail Conference & Exhibition will focus on how airport commercial spaces are being transformed by disruptive technology.

Among the product innovations Mondelez World Travel Retail has planned in 2018 is Toblerone Tiny Crunchy Almonds 272g. Meanwhile, last year it launched the festive-themed Toblerone Happy Holidays, a universal gift that covers a range of holiday celebrations, from Thanksgiving to Chinese New Year.

It is a topic high on the agenda of Mondelez World Travel Retail (WTR), manufacturer of confectionery brands including Toblerone and Cadbury. The company aims to pioneer digital within the confectionery category to take it to the next level. “The way travellers behave and shop has been changed vastly by technology; our job is to stay on top of this change, and continue to engage the hyperconnected next-generation – or, as we call them, ‘Next Gen’ – travellers,” explains Ivo Knuesel, Head of Category Planning, Mondelez WTR. “Successfully engaging this emerging type of traveller takes a collaborative approach from all travel retail stakeholders. I expect to not only glean insights from some of the most forward-thinking companies at the conference, but to also seek out potential collaborations that can leverage disruptive technology to drive conversion and grow together.”

He will address the industry challenges all stakeholders – airports, retailers, and brands – face and how collaborations, especially those that involve technology providers, can help meet these challenges. “In such collaborations, brands play a particularly important role as they provide creative input, deliver an emotional connection during the interaction, and link the experience to purchase,” Knuesel adds.

Mobile connectivity, tech-savviness, frequent travel

Together with the digital boom, new issues and opportunities have arisen, which means that a wholly new approach is needed to re-engage travellers. Next Gen Travellers are characterised by their mobile connectivity, tech-savviness and frequent travel; and also by their desire for bespoke experiences and sharable moments. “The term is much broader than ‘Millennials’ and describes the way travellers behave, rather than referring solely to their demographics,” Knuesel explains. “Mondelez is embracing this – we have developed action plans behind the three pillars in travel retail to connect with them. The pillars include Digital Instore Engagement – triggering conversion and repeated purchases through effective activations at the point of sale; Online Communication – raising travellers’ awareness of duty free shopping and confectionery offers through social media and other online channels so that we can encourage store footfall; and E-Commerce, converting online users into in-store visitors and shoppers, and then converting them into buyers.”

By activating these three digital platforms along the travel journey, the aim is to connect travellers with brands in a modern and meaningful way, strengthening the emotional link and adding a new dimension to the supplier-shopper relationship.

The most recent example of how Mondelez WTR collaborates with airports and retailers was the pre-launch of Toblerone Messages between January and March 2017, in which it exclusively partnered with the Dufry Group.

“As soon as this new product hit the shelves, we started using geo-targeted advertising on Facebook and Instagram, for travellers at the airports where the new product was available, as well as advertising on the airports’ websites,” says Knuesel. “These ads were linked to Dufry’s Reserve & Collect website, where travellers could pre-order Toblerone Messages and pick up their purchase in-store.”

Mondelez WTR also partnered with the ‘Red by Dufry’ loyalty programme to raise awareness of Toblerone Messages among the programme members via personalised emails; and collaborated with FLIO, promoting Toblerone Messages to its users across major European airports within Dufry’s retail universe. “This is not only an example of our collaboration efforts with airports and retailers, but also showcases how digital has become a part of the overall in-store strategy and was successfully applied in travel retail,” Knuesel concludes.

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