Blog: TFWA - Diageo prepares for a travel retail journey
Andy Morton | 25 October 2012
Diageo's global travel retail head, Roland Abella, was in a bullish mood last night (24 October).
“I like to take risks,” he said at the unveiling in Cannes of the Johnnie Walker Explorers Club Collection, his company's biggest travel retail launch. “If we fail, then we will learn from it. But, I hope we won't.”
He's unlikely to fail with the Explorers Club, a premium blended Scotch range exclusive to the travel retail sector that claims to tap into the “romance of travel”. The question is: why has it taken Diageo so long to come up with a collection like this?
As Abella said, the strategy in travel retail today is differentiation; trying to give the target Asian and Russian airline passengers something they can't get at home.
Aside from the question of whether non-Western cultures can identify with the Victorian-tinged view of travel Diageo is peddling with its Silk Road, Royal Route and Gold Route lines in the Explorers Club, the collection ticks all the modern boxes. The packaging is colourful, it comes with an off-the-peg story behind it and it's expensive, from US$43 to $159.
After the launch, Abella told just-drinks that “geographies don't mean anything anymore”, highlighting Diageo's one-size-fits-all approach to travel retail and why this new collection is being released in all global markets.
That's not a view shared across the Scotch industry. Morrison Bowmore Distillers said yesterday that regional market trends do seep into travel retail, but it'll no doubt work for the Explorers Club, especially with the marketing clout of Diageo behind it.
"This is our big play for the foreseeable future," said Diageo's Global travel and Middle East marketing director, Steve White. It appears then, that Diageo is setting sail on its own journey.
Fetch me my binoculars.
The Coca-Cola Co has had its fair share of critics this year, from health campaigners to investor David Winters, who this week called for CEO Muhtar Kent to be replaced....
The UK health lobby is always very vocal on alcohol at this time of year, predictably so, and this year is no different. ...
“Ah, yes, you've hit upon a very sensitive area,” says Thomas, my guide at the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen last Friday....
- Review of the Year 2014 - Part V: Wine
- Review of the Year 2014 - Part IV: Spirits
- just Five Years Ago - Belvedere Group's Bumpy Ride
- Coca-Cola to get boost from Monster in China
- CCE shows faith in Coca-Cola Life with full launch
- Campari to bag EUR19m with "non-core" assets sale
- Pernod wins consent for Glenlivet upgrade
- Thailand pulls back from New Year alcohol ban
- just-drinks takes a festive break
- Tequila set for export boost after record 2014