October 4 2019  |  Confectionery & Fine Foods

Mondelez International toasts a successful 25 years in travel retail

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Juergen Leisse, President, Central Europe & EU Central Sales, and Jaya Singh, Managing Director World Travel Retail, toast the 25th anniversary

Mondelez International celebrated reaching the major milestone of 25 years in the duty free business at the TFWA World Exhibition.

Over a quarter of a century, the division built by Markus Gerber from scratch is now a travel retail powerhouse with world-renowned brands such as Toblerone, Milka and Cadbury in its portfolio, thanks to its pioneering spirit.

Juergen Leisse, President, Central Europe & EU Central Sales, and Jaya Singh, Managing Director World Travel Retail, raised a toast at the Cannes fair to another 25 successful years.

Speaking to the media, Leisse was keen to emphasize the company’s commitment to sustainability via its Snacking Made Right mantra, which focuses on sustainably produced products and a smart and sustainable use of resources.

He described the firm’s ethical and sustainable programs, grouped under three pillars: Harmony, focused on how the farming communities grow wheat; Cocoa Life, a sustainable sourcing program; and the Mondelez International Foundation, which promotes a healthy lifestyle for families.

From 2021, Harmony will go live for all product, and by 2025, all the group’s chocolates will made in the Cocoa Life program, Leisse revealed.

Turning to travel retail, he described the channel as “an open door to the world” that’s “versatile, global, fast and fun”. Airports are a place to test and learn new ideas, he added. “We can communicate with consumers, and entertain and delight them.”

The challenge in travel retail is to make sure this information is conveyed to consumers. He praised his colleague Jaya Singh for having made changes to products and having touched consumers.

Celebrations at TFWA World Exhibition called for a giant Toblerone cake and Champagne

Singh reflected back on the 25 years of Mondelez International, noting that Markus Gerber started by selling chocolates from a table at trade shows.

“We stand for a pioneering spirit, innovation and connections,” he said. “Our digital programs and insight are based on a desire to pioneer new things. At Mondelez we have something special – our DNA is a pioneering spirit.”

Singh touched on the abolition of intra-EU duty free, when the whole travel retail channel was forced to innovate and had now become an US$80 billion industry.

Thanking colleagues, Leisse and the management board, Singh ended his speech by saying: “I look forward to the next 25 years. There are challenges, but they are stepping stones to new innovations and partnerships.”

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