Tobacco & RRP Report
View from the brands: Mazaya
Mazaya – the premium shisha molasses brand – continues to emphasise the important role that shisha can play in the tobacco category in travel retail. The company has been expanding its retailer partnerships as it grows its footprint and market share.
Its focus has shifted from one of recovery and business sustainability in 2021 to growth and expansion today.
Global Duty Free Manager Rawan Elayyan says: “The good news is that Mazaya’s travel retail business year to date is no longer benchmarked to match 2019 figures; we have successfully surpassed 2019 full-year performance.”
With that performance so far, growth for the full year is expected to reach a “high double-digit percentage, especially with an estimated upward performance in Q4”.
“2022 has been a huge success for Mazaya,” says Elayyan. “It has even exceeded our expectations and the industry’s recovery assessment post the pandemic period.”
Now the company is building on this with a new brand identity, just revealed and rolling out across channels.
The company says: “The new brand identity is derived from the same spirit and still true to Mazaya’s original DNA of connecting all people, sharing special moments and commitment to delivering an unmatchable shisha smoking experience with our high-quality products.”
Mazaya summarises the consumer segments it currently caters to as follows:
*One group loyal to their favourite flavours and who tend to smoke the classic shisha flavours.
*An experiential segment keen to explore new flavours and mixes.
Elayyan says: “As Mazaya is a brand that always places consumers’ needs at the forefront of our business, we cater for both segments with our multiple variants of existing flavours along with new flavours and mixes. We also acknowledge that consumer tastes and preferences worldwide are growing in diversity, which is why Mazaya offers a wide portfolio of over 150 flavours, catering to different consumer preferences and taste palates.”
With this diversity, maintaining a strong programme of innovation remains important.
Elayyan says: “We have recently launched two new flavours in the travel retail channel. Two Apples Masri is a new variant of our best-selling flavour Two Apples, developed to enlarge our consumer base. Another exciting contemporary new flavour is Love, which is a fresh mix with a hint of tropical fruits.”
For 2023, innovation focuses on a “star project” namely Caviar Drops. A flavour booster, this is made of concentrated flavour essence in the shape of drops and comes in different flavours (Fruity Fusion, Icy Frost, Luscious Lemon, Mint Mania, Rich Licorice and Sleek Vanilla). Smokers can add these drops to their shisha tobacco to intensify the flavour or even to make their own mix.
Mazaya also holds firm views about how partnerships can be strengthened in the channel.
“Good partnership in travel retail is achieved through maintaining transparent communication, a two-way collaboration, acknowledging mutual interests and adopting a dynamic approach in adapting to changes within the business environment,” says Elayyan.
Noting that it is crucial to keep the consumer engaged before, during and after their journey, Mazaya says that pre-journey communications should include:
- A user-friendly platform to complete travel processes such as check-in
- Digital integration for online duty free shopping along with shop &collect approaches
- High brand recognition and retention.
Providing a great experience during the journey should include:
- Airport authorities providing easy, clear guidance to travellers to give them more time in the airport, minimising anxiety and maximising satisfaction
- Duty free retailers providing a clear consumer path that is properly navigated with a visible shop layout
- Suppliers attracting consumers with appealing visibility, limited-edition products and on the ground activations
- A fleet of well-trained brand ambassadors and shop staff to assist consumers
- Exciting promotions including valuable price-off and memorable gift with purchases
After the journey, adds the company, the emphasis should be on customer service that reviews the journey, taking feedback into consideration and acting to ensure improved future experiences, alongside loyalty programmes.
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