Tobacco & RRP Report
View from the brands: KT International
Bulgaria’s KT International is a leading independent tobacco group with operations in over 50 countries and selling products across four continents. Its presence in travel retail is led by The King and Corset brands.
Addressing how the company is seeking to grow in the channel as the pandemic impact recedes, KT International Chief Commercial Officer Stuart Buchanan says that “staying true” to its corporate philosophy of offering quality brands at accessible price points is at the core of its strategy.
Buchanan says that the KT approach is in tune with consumer needs and demands today.
“Our market pricing strategy is to ensure that our global brands The King and Corset retail in the premium segment but remain accessible to those who desire them. This is a key feature we would like to showcase in today’s tough economic climate: to give back to the consumer and show that international quality premium products do not have to come with a hugely expensive price tag.
“This has been our philosophy for a number of years but this year it has been particularly relevant. As the global economy has contracted and disposable income has become a key concern for many households, consumers have become aware of abusive pricing. We have seen a shift to price-accessible, reliable, quality international brands and our 2021-2022 performance stands testament to this.”
Overlaying this strategy is the “central pillar” of innovation. Buchanan says: “The company’s motivator is to provide choice in terms of format and taste, combined with the overriding philosophy of offering international brands at accessible price points.
“We continue to invest in the expansion of our portfolio with new formats and flavours and we believe our portfolio is uniquely suited to the global travel retail channel where innovation is a key driver.”
Among the key lines, The King Compact plays a key role. Buchanan says: “It comes in slimmer format that fits demand from discerning consumers.
Stuart Buchanan: The KT approach is based around premium but accessibly priced brands
“For those striving to energise their smoke with extra flavour we created The King Pop Compact. It is our most vibrant proposition yet, giving the opportunity to experience a variety of tastes. The King Pop features the same well-balanced blend now complemented with the newest generation capsule flavoured filter. Two taste options are available – menthol and blueberry, that can be activated on demand.”
Alongside, this, the Corset brand recently presented its latest capsule collection. “Inspired by the vibrancy of the design of the ‘Shell Pack’ range, the brand has altered the look and feel of Corset Deux and Corset Double to match the premium quality and high-fashion sense searched for by our consumers.” Corset Deux features a single menthol capsule, while Corset Double carries the taste of menthol glaze and blueberry blush.
Buchanan says: “We developed these ranges in 2021 specifically for global travel retail. While we introduced them to many markets, the delayed return of global travel meant that our implementation and brand activation was limited and we have only managed to showcase them extensively now in 2022.
“In 2023 we will have some exciting news on our sustainability agenda with another world-first after our Shell Pack.”
KT International says that its partnerships are “consumer-focused”, with long-term relationships within the industry driving the recovery.
“We have been consistent in maintaining our commitment to partners without a drastic withdrawal from the channel and we continue this support through 2022 and the years to come,” says Buchanan.
“We put all our efforts to offer the best possible consumer experience. We have already mentioned the trend for more value at an affordable price that consumers are looking for, but we also see now that want to travel more, meet more, spend more and live to the maximum. And we are ready to give more – more product variants, more formats, more flavours.”
The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 14 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit www.moodiedavittreport.com and to subscribe, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org