‘Calling innovators, disrupters and dreamers’. That was the call to action earlier this year as Qatar Duty Free and The Moodie Davitt Report launched The QDF Factor 2021, an initiative to champion innovation in travel retail at a critical time for the channel. The QDF Factor, first hosted in 2020 at the inaugural Virtual Travel Retail Expo, is a competition that was open to all brands, both within and outside the travel retail channel.

It offers a top prize of a six-month listing in 2022 at Qatar Duty Free’s award-winning retail offer in Hamad International Airport, Doha, recently and memorably voted Best Airport in the World by Skytrax. The victor will also win a free six-month US$50,000 multi-media advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report.

In these pages we profile and salute the companies that made submissions – many of the highest quality – which underline the spirit of innovation and differentiation that exists in our sector, and that is at the heart of the Qatar Duty Free offer. Entrants have been judged by Qatar Duty Free Vice President Thabet Musleh and his team, and The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie, based on a series of qualitative criteria, including:

  • Innovation: What does this product or concept offer that is unique, stands out from its competitors, and creates a talking point for retailer and consumer alike? What is its USP?
  • CSR: What additional social credentials does the product offer?
  • Presentation: What is compelling about the packaging? What makes it stand out on shelf? What consideration has been given to people and the planet?
  • Commercial viability: Who is the product targeted at? What makes it a winner? What is your pricing policy and (going forward) marketing approach?
  • Overall quality: The story behind the R&D that went into the product and the quality of its ingredients/components.

The competition culminates at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo this week. The shortlist will be announced by Qatar Duty Free on Monday 11 October, with the winner revealed at a special ceremony on Friday 15 October. The QDF Factor underlines Qatar Duty Free’s unswerving commitment to the channel and alongside The Moodie Davitt Report, our joint belief that innovation is critical to delivering the travelling consumer the quality of offer that will surely drive our sector’s recovery.

Martin Moodie

Dermot Davitt

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