Tell us about Guylian’s goals (including new product launches) for 2012.
Our company targets are ambitious, but we are in the mood to break new records. Therefore, we have started with the launch of new products and packaging which include:
Temptations pouch pack 537g: Around 50 single wrapped mini seahorses in an attractive colourful pouch. This is the very first time Guylian has moved in this direction on request of several travel retail operators. With this pack, we enter the sharing segment the right way.
Temptations cube 301g: Again single wrapped mini chocolate seahorses in a luxurious golden box with a real ribbon.
Pralines 45g, 90g and 180g: Pralines with a unique new filling — a mix of our well-known original hazelnut praline filling and our delicious truffle filling, an ideal combination loved by our tasting panel.
Seahorses Travel Bag with 12x23g: Ideal for travellers who need multiple small gifts for their friends, families and or colleagues.
How successful are your products in the Middle East and North Africa? Are there any particular products that are specially created or that appeal specifically to this region?
We have a stable business in the Middle East, which may/has to grow in the very near future. A bit more attention will be given to this area in order to have everybody on board.
Especially for the Middle East region, we developed an ‘Eid’ sleeve (just like we do for Christmas or for Easter) for our seashells box 250g. It is a beautiful one with a moon and stars.
Please state which Middle East/North African Airports Guylian has a presence in.
We have presence in most airports, not everywhere ideally positioned, but the presence is already a first step.
How is Q2 doing compared to last year? Has the Arab Spring affected your business?
Yes, the Arab Spring seriously affected the business in specific countries. Goods were sent and got stuck in the port and others cancelled their orders. But overall we are doing well despite these events.
Who do you see as your biggest competitors?
We are all friends, but other brands or non-branded chocolate is a competitor. A traveller will not choose all brands… so if Guylian is not in their basket… it is sad for us. But if we are chosen, then for sure these consumers will come back to us.
Are consumers buying age-old favourites or are they willing to try new products?
Yes, they buy age-old brands or packs. It is often nostalgia that persuades them to purchase Guylian. It is our uniqueness in shapes that excites the traveller/consumer. For the retailer, it is even security as these brands have proven over the years that they will rotate. These brands like Guylian will always support the retailer/operator in bad times… so we get something back during the good times.
What do you think is the most crucial part of your business in travel retail? — Shop design? Branding? How is your relationship with various operators here?
These are all important steps in the sales plan. Shop design is often the decision and direction of the operator, however more and more retailers ask for our opinion and this is then treated confidentially in the finalisation of it. The relationship is of a higher importance. Relationship is for a great deal a question of communication. Knowledge that is shared for the best of the brand and its stores.
The ‘gifting’ segment is vital to this category — how do you compete with so many other brands? Is this the biggest part of your business in duty free?
Yes it is. This is why we are now trying to get a bit of the share in the gifting/sharing market with the Temptations pouch pack.
How do you plan to stay ahead of your competition?
By being creative and keeping the great taste we have developed.
Do you have products in-flight? If so, what percentage is this of your overall business and how is it doing?
Yes, we have our products on some airlines. The percentage is not high as we have never focused on airlines due to hesitation that some buyers have in carrying it. However, some major airlines, such as Korean Air, Asiana, BA, CAL, PAL, Thomas Cook and some others prove that this is going very well.