All year-round gifting

Gifting is a purchase driver for many travellers at airports and other travel retail locations and for an increasing number of them – particularly from Asia – gifting expensive products is “culturally binding”, says Nestlé International Travel Retail.

Travelling consumers often look for brands or products not available in their local market and focus on craftsmanship, authenticity, unique concepts and stories. These features are important to all age groups and social classes, but particularly so for millennials.

Finding these items quickly is also crucial as trips are often short, meaning the shopper is time-limited.

Direct and easy to understand communication is critical. Often, says the brand owner, travellers often cannot find what is on their list – or the points of differentiation are not strong enough when it comes to product packaging, ingredients or variants. Messages such as ‘I love you’ or ‘I missed you’ can also swing a purchase decision because it directly communicates a certain feeling from one person to the other.

The ritual of giving chocolates, biscuits or sweets to either impress or as a small token of appreciation

Nestlé (aided by research from m1nd-set) has identified key gift shoppers as: Discerning Discoverers, Habitual Value Seekers, Family Enthusiasts and Guilty Grazers. The most likely recipients are a female partner or friend aged 24-35 (if the gift is to show appreciation), or a friend or for family (if it is to make an impression).

Other gifting contexts include ‘Dutiful Gestures’, ‘Cherishing Friendships’ and ‘Loving Reminders’.

Gifting can cover all prices ranges from a small token of appreciation – perhaps a product such as Ferrero Rocher, to

more premium brands such as Lindt or Godiva which have a higher price/weight ratio.

Travelling consumers give chocolates, biscuits or sweets, either to impress or as a token of appreciation to thank, congratulate or surprise as outlined. These items are already some of the easiest to pick up in the travel retail environment compared with competitive gifting categories such as flowers or wine. If retailers made it even easier, through the right presentation and signage they could grow this confectionery driver with minimal effort, says Nestlé International Travel Retail.

Consumer insights

  • Gifting needs no special occasion: “I just wanted to buy you a gift”
  • Travel retail shoppers looking to give confectionery as ‘a little gesture’ seek a singular, differentiated product
  • Shoppers are willing to pay a higher price for specific product characteristics
  • Packaging is as important as the content so craftsmanship and customised products can heavily influence the purchase decision
  • Consumers like to give gifts that impress and that build their perception with others in terms of either recognition or affirming their social position
  • Showing knowledge about chocolate and its origin – more relevant to premium products – is an important part of showing off

Spotlight Series

December 2019

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