Introduction: In this guest column, Mondelez World Travel Retail (WTR) Managing Director Jaya Singh reflects on the need for a holistic approach to sustainability that is tailored to the unique nature of the channel – what the confectionery category leader refers to as ‘Travel Retail Made Right’.
A recent study by m1nd-set on future trends impacting travel retail has underlined how travelling consumers are more concerned about sustainability than ever before, writes Jaya Singh. More than 71% of shoppers prefer to purchase brands that are transparent and proactively demonstrate social, ethical and environmental values and practices when shopping in duty free stores. Significantly, just under nine out of ten shoppers surveyed believe that sustainable values are important for a brand’s image.
Shoppers expect us to take responsibility for our impact, and we know that they are looking for ethical products that reflect a commitment to sustainability. However, our channel has some very specific requirements and limitations. With a broad concept like sustainability, it is becoming increasingly important to adopt a holistic approach that takes both the unique characteristics of our channel into account while addressing the needs of our travelling consumers.
Collaborating on sustainable practices for the good of the wider industry is how we progress the sustainability agenda for travel retail, or what Mondelez World Travel Retail refers to as ‘Travel Retail Made Right’. As part of our broader sustainability roadmap for travel retail, we have identified a number of areas where we can leverage the power of our partnerships for the benefit of both people and planet. Through these pioneering initiatives, we aim to contribute to, as well as inspire, a more sustainable future for our industry.
Pillar 1 – Products & Packaging
Ethical products provide a distinctive offer that informs consumers that we are taking their needs and the needs of the planet into account. This has become an integral part of continuously innovating to differentiate the offer in travel retail.
At Mondelez WTR, we’re committed to supporting travelling consumers in making more sustainable choices. The ingredients of our products make up one of the primary pillars of our Travel Retail Made Right commitment, with 99% of our travel retail chocolate product portfolio currently using cocoa that is sourced sustainably through our Cocoa Life programme.
Cocoa Life aims to transform the lives and livelihoods of farmers and their communities through empowering women, educating the young and inspiring lasting, positive change.
By 2025, 100% of our chocolate will be made using only sustainably-sourced cocoa.
Last year, we unveiled our first-ever Cocoa Life multi-brand activation in collaboration with Oslo Airport, Gebr. Heinemann and Travel Retail Norway to put our sustainable cocoa programme in the spotlight.
The umbrella concept told the Cocoa Life story through Mondelez International’s first-ever zero-waste retail design, encouraging travellers that choosing a Cocoa Life brand like Toblerone is choosing a cocoa made right. One which uses sustainable solutions for cocoa production and benefits farming communities and the environment.
This type of impactful in-store communication is essential to providing clear evidence to travelling consumers that the channel is prioritising the type of sustainable products that they are looking for.
Reducing our environmental impact through recyclable packaging is also very high on our agenda. We are on track to reach our recyclability target, and we are also proactively simplifying our designs to ensure even less waste. By 2025, 100% of Mondelez packaging around the globe will be recyclable.
Pillar 2 – Ethical Promotions
Our team is fortunate to work with incredible forwarding-thinking partners in travel retail and beyond, and we have been leveraging these partnerships for ethical promotions to support travellers not only in making more sustainable choices, but in making a positive impact when they shop.
When we joined forces with tree-planting charity One Tree Planted near the end of last year, our original goal was to plant 50,000 trees in the Andes. For every Toblerone bought across select locations, we planted one tree. By Earth Day last month, through the ongoing support of retailer partners, agency partners, and additional donations from within the Mondelez team itself, we more than doubled our original target.
Our commitment to driving a positive impact goes beyond the environment. People are at the heart of what we do at Mondelez World Travel Retail, and we ultimately want to ensure a brighter, more sustainable future for everyone.
We also enjoyed great success and impact with our Freia Charity Partnership with Gebr. Heinemann and Travel Retail Norway at Oslo Airport in April this year. This was a first-of-its-kind initiative for the brand during which 20% of all purchases of the travel retail exclusive Freia ‘I love Norway’ 260g boxes were donated to a local charity called Fattighuset Oslo. The campaign slogan, ‘Make a difference to someone’s life’ – underlines that even the seemingly smallest actions can deliver a profound impact.
Whether it’s one tree for one Toblerone, or a box of Freia to help support people who need a helping hand, these types of ethical promotions ladder up into a collective difference.
Pillar 3 – Industry Leading Actions
Our team consistently strives to do better, and hope to inspire others to do the same. We draw strength and inspiration from our robust industry relationships, from those who rise to challenges alongside us and bring enthusiasm, dedication and innovation to the table.
Just over a year ago, we unveiled a Sustainable Design Scorecard with our agency partner CircleSquare. The scorecard assists brand owners, retailers and airports in lowering their environmental impact through a Sustainable DNA Rating system that encourages the choice of more authentic materials and considerate construction methods, along with manufacturing decisions, that allow for in-store units to be more easily recycled at the end of life.
We shared the scorecard freely with the channel to support the industry’s transformation towards a greener future. Our team has used the scorecard to implement a sustainability framework that informs and validates all our collective design decisions and pushes towards more sustainable retail practices.
Seizing every opportunity that we can to do better. At TFWA Cannes last year, Mondelez WTR returned to the show with a carbon-neutral booth. We proactively took steps to offset the carbon footprint of our team’s travel, accommodation and delivery transport by planting over 3,500 trees with One Tree Planted.
Pillar 4 – People
Loving our people is one of our core values at Mondelez. This means loving our consumers, but also our great industry partners and peers, as well as our fantastic team members. The people pillar supports diversity, inclusion and growth, embracing one another to progress even deeper collaboration and innovation.
We recently unveiled a collaboration with DFNI and Women in Travel Retail in supporting the ‘of breaking the bias’ webinar and putting the spotlight on diversity in global travel retail.
Making our industry more diverse and inclusive is a vitally important and necessary mission – one which Mondelez World Travel Retail is proud to champion. Through this partnership we are looking forward to promoting diversity, being an active voice in the discourse and, most importantly, driving progress.
Partnerships Made Right
As we consider the next stage of our holistic Travel Retail Made Right journey, our team is looking at what is close to our values, close to our hearts, and close to our people. Throughout our sustainability journey so far, the most important driver has remained our trusted partnerships.
The deeply collaborative nature of our relationships with our partners has always been one of the major driving forces behind our success. To achieve our sustainability goals and to truly make an impact for the good of both people and planet, we know that we can draw once again from the power of collaboration – that ‘Travel Retail Made Right’ also means ‘Partnerships Made Right’.
By identifying where we can inspire and help one another to better, we can collectively harness our strengths in a partnered approach to sustainability. This is only the beginning, and while we cannot hope to solve all the sustainability challenges overnight, we know that we will get there a lot faster if we approach the challenges together.
Note: The Moodie Davitt Report’s portfolio of titles included Confectionery Curated, published in association with Mondelez. It offers a regular selection of stories focused on the key confectionery category in travel retail and beyond.
As with all Moodie Davitt Report media, Confectionery Curated is free of charge. If you would like to be added to its mailing list (or to those for any other Moodie Davitt titles), please email Kristyn@MoodieDavittReport.com