Manuel González, Global Travel Retail Marketing Director at Beam Suntory


“2021 has been a positive year for GTR Beam Suntory as everything has started to return to normal and travel has become more frequent globally,” said Manuel González, Global Marketing Director of Travel Retail at Beam Suntory. DFNI.

“We have seen a lot of activity from our brands with various innovation launches, such as more recently the Bowmore designed by Aston Martin exclusive, limited edition packaging series, as well as consumer activations in our stores.

“We see many potential opportunities going forward as we continue to improve our brand offerings, launch more in-person events and activate fantastic campaigns. It’s very exciting and we can’t wait for our customers to see what’s in store for the coming year.

Which travel retail markets and channels are best placed to grow in 2022? Which do you think will remain difficult?

We will continue to monitor the evolution of channel recovery with the support of multiple data sources, industry experts and internal insights to focus our efforts in these areas with faster recovery rates.

2021 has shown the potential of certain Asian regions, such as Hainan, where we have significantly developed our presence. This is something that we will continue in 2022.

What digital solutions do you plan to use to drive sales and in-store penetration in the offline world of duty-free stores in 2022?

Digital and the global consumer journey play a central role in our communication with our consumers. Understanding the pre and post journey is essential and digital solutions therefore play a central role. Over the past few months, we have actively developed our digital capabilities with a greater focus on North Asia. We have partnered with some of our clients to develop an app store experience and a set of live broadcast sessions with key thought leaders to showcase some of our recent launches.

What measures are you taking to ensure greater diversity and a better gender balance in your travel retail division?

Beam Suntory believes our employees grow up together in diverse and inclusive environments where their unique ideas, experiences and backgrounds are valued and respected. It means having both a seat and a voice at the table. By fostering a culture of inclusiveness and harnessing the power of the diversity of thought, experience and culture of our employees, we can unleash ideas and capacities that drive individual and business growth.

As part of our Proof Positive sustainability strategy, Beam Suntory pursues a number of long-term commitments to ensure greater diversity and better gender balance across all of our global operations, including reaching 50 % of women in management positions and creating a sense of belonging among the best in the sector. our people around the world.

As part of this effort, every leader at Beam Suntory has annual diversity and inclusion goals, for which they are held accountable. We also promote diversity through our hiring practices, seeking diverse candidates, and using internal development and promotion opportunities to move our agenda forward. We also assess employee performance based on their “what”, meaning their results, and their “how”, meaning their behavior in relation to our values.

“Inclusion” is one of our corporate values ​​and is rooted in our culture. We offer a variety of programs to build capacity for inclusive leadership, such as inclusion management and unconscious bias training. We run educational events throughout the year to increase awareness and knowledge about the experience of under-represented groups. We are launching a toolkit for managers with D&I resources and suggested actions for leaders who recruit, develop and hire diverse teams.

Finally, we launched various employee resource groups and established a global D&I steering committee, with action teams across the company to address our most immediate challenges. These efforts are overseen by Victoria Russell, our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

What shopping trends do you expect to see in the first half of 2022? Do you think ATV will continue to outperform passenger traffic growth? Will we see more leisure travelers than business travelers, etc. ?

With travel hopefully continuing to expand as we approach 2022, we expect this to be reflected in the momentum of both leisure and business travelers. We hope the world will continue to open up and see the global movement return to pre-pandemic levels.

We are seeing an increase in the number of customers passing through our retail channels, whether they are families visiting loved ones abroad or business operators traveling abroad for work. We expect these numbers to continue to grow exponentially unless circumstances change.

In terms of purchasing trends and behaviors, we live and work in a digital revolution. We expect digital to be a key medium and to become more and more important on the buying journey of buyers, alongside the penetration of e-commerce. Together this will likely become the ‘new normal’, so it is essential that we continue to evolve and adapt to these new opportunities.

What progress have you made in 2021 to make your travel retail activity more sustainable? What other goals do you have in this important area in 2022?

Our Global Travel Retail team contributes – both as an organization and as individuals – to Beam Suntory’s collective Proof Positive commitments. With our joint Proof Positive strategy, Beam Suntory has made a number of long-term commitments to sustainability across all facets of our value chain, from seed to mouthful. These 2030 and 2040 commitments are structured around three pillars: Nature Positive, Consumer Positive and Community Positive.

Through investments in efficient technology and cleaner fuels, Beam Suntory has already reduced water consumption per unit of production by 22% and greenhouse gases emitted from direct operations by 19%. Building on this progress to reduce its environmental footprint, Beam Suntory is setting itself bold goals focused on the environment, suppliers and packaging.

Our targets include:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in all direct operations by 2030, with the ambition to eliminate more carbon than is emitted across the entire value chain of here 2040
  • Reduce water consumption for each unit of production by 50% by 2030 and replenish more water than is used in direct operations to water sources, shared with local communities and nature, d ‘by 2040
  • Plant more trees than those harvested to make whiskey casks – a commitment to plant 500,000 trees per year by 2030
  • Use 100% recyclable packaging and 40% recycled material by weight across the entire packaging portfolio by 2030

What new products or packaging will you launch or promote in travel retail during the first half of 2022?

We have lots of exciting new launches and the continuation of some of the more recent series that we look forward to in 2022. Most importantly, we know our customers are going to love everything we’ve got planned in our brand portfolio in the month. future. We can’t say too much just yet, but rest assured that we continue our continued commitment to premiumizing the brand, so you can expect to see new limited editions and expressions of luxury very soon.

What broader alcohol trends should shoppers be aware of as 2022 approaches?

We expect low-alcohol and non-alcoholic solutions to become increasingly relevant both in Travel Retail and in national markets, as well as in RTD’s offerings.

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