Whyte & Mackay poised to take Malt and travel retail to the next level

Whyte & Mackay will take a leading role in travel retail’s recovery with its high-performing portfolio of pedigree single malt brands driving growth across the category.

Malt is set to be a vital and vibrant part of the travel retail market’s recovery following the crisis of recent months. It is the third largest spirits category, with a 12% value market share, and is the most dynamic of the top 5 spirit categories in the channel today (IWSR). Malt is also expected to rebound faster than its fellow spirits categories (IWSR) and it will be a key driver for travel retail as it recovers.

Whyte & Mackay has identified that the power of the Malt category lies in its three different sectors, each of which engages a different type of travel retail shopper. The well-established ‘Power Brands’ attract shoppers looking for reassurance and brand recognition and contributed to almost three quarters (74%) of Malt value gain in 2018-19 (IWSR). Meanwhile, ‘Discovery Brands’ offer new and exciting products for exploratory shoppers seeking a hidden gem on their journey. These brands also contributed to 1/3 of category volume growth 2018-19. Finally, the ‘Affordable Malt’ sector appeals to more price sensitive travellers and drove almost half of category volume growth in 2018-19.

For years, Whyte & Mackay has been a driving force in the whisky sector and particularly in the Single Malt market, where the company is now the sixth largest player in travel retail by value. Today, the company offers powerhouse names such as The Dalmore and Jura lined up alongside innovative and fast-growing brands including Tamnavulin and Fettercairn to cover all the Malt shopper’s needs. The impressive performance of this stable of brands is why Whyte & Mackay has outstripped the sector in value growth over the last 10 years and understands what is needed to seize the opportunity offered by this vibrant category.

Whyte & Mackay Travel Retail Director Richard Trimby says: “The travel retail market is going through major changes and to drive the recovery we need to overcome new challenges and also seize the opportunities in front of us.

“Malt whisky remains a huge opportunity for travel retail and will be one of the key drivers of growth in the months and years to come. Whyte & Mackay understands the shoppers in this vibrant market and what drives that growth as our customers return.”

The Dalmore is a true masterpiece in the making. In a relentless pursuit of the perfect whisky, Whyte & Mackay has developed a brand which offers premium appeal to connoisseurs, as well as prestige gift-seekers and those looking for an indulgent treat. As the fastest growing Luxury Single Malt in the world, The Dalmore is now the fifth largest Single Malt in GTR by value and is the biggest value generator per litre of the market’s top five Malts (IWSR). Now, the brand’s continued drive for innovation, highlighted by its new Travel Retail exclusive Ensemble collection will also place it at the forefront of omnichannel engagement for shoppers.

Jura has recorded double digit growth in the very competitive UK, French and US domestic markets as well as in Asia travel retail, especially in Taiwan duty free. Now with its new, more aggressive pricing strategy Jura is poised to capture the attention of the value hunters who are returning to travel retail stores.

Travel retail Malt shoppers who are looking for a discovery need to meet Fettercairn. This unique hidden gem should be a cornerstone of every Malt portfolio today. Fettercairn boasts a unique story and distillation process which helped make it the third fastest-growing Single Malt in travel retail last year. It also offers a full range which is set to be expanded with the release of 16YO and 23YO expressions.

Finally, Tamnavulin was the fastest growing affordable Single Malt in travel retail last year. One of the keys to success has been its ability to recruit new drinkers to the Malt Segment and encourage trading up from blends. Since its launch in 2016, Tamnavulin has shown dynamic growth in the category and is already a top 3 single malt brand under $50/L, making it a must-stock brand for any travel retailer.

“Looking to the future, it is going to be vital that we as an industry understand how to engage shoppers and drive both penetration and spend,” Trimby concludes.

“Malt is a powerhouse category which is still growing around the world and vital to the recovery in Travel Retail. The category thrives on choice and innovation because shoppers are looking for a diverse and exciting range to entice them into the store. At Whyte & Mackay we understand how these shoppers tick and are ready to help our retail partners rebound faster.”

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