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Travel Retail Challenge winners announced
Published:  05 October, 2016

Heineken Brew Lock was named supreme champion at Drinks International’s tenth annual Travel Retail Challenge last night. 

In total, eight operator and eight supplier awards were handed out at Hotel Majestic, Cannes.

Joe Bates, head judge, said: “The quality of entries this year was definitely up with suppliers and operators putting much more thought into their submissions. Reflecting broader trends in the market, there were a higher number of entries from single malt whiskies and premium wines, but fewer competitors from white spirits and liqueurs.”

Bates, Drinks International’s travel retail correspondent, headed up the panel of judges this year. He was joined by: Karen Sparrow, director of operations at inflight retailer DFASS UK; French whisky writer Anne-Sophie Bigot; Nicola Ridges-Jones, managing director of MSX, bonded warehouse and distribution company to UK airport stores, cruise lines and airlines; Row Holland, veteran travel retail PR consultant; and DI publisher Justin Smith.

Airport Bar of the Year and Drinks Innovation were new additions to the ceremony in 2016 to reflect the “ever-changing travel retail scene”. Brisbane River Grill was named the Travel Retail Challenge’s first Airport Bar of the Year. The recently opened bar at Sydney airport impressed judges its near $1m sales in its first 33 weeks of trading, its draft and bottled beers, classic cocktails and Australian wines were also commended.

The second new award winner was Heineken Brew Lock, the supplier bagged both Drinks Innovation and Supreme Champion in this year’s Challenge.

In the product categories the big winners were Stoli Gluten Free for Drinks Launch at TFWA Cannes; Glencadam 25 YO ‘The Remarkable’ was named Drinks Launch of the Year; The Macallan Rare Cask Black took the Travel Retail Exclusive of the Year; Johnnie Walker House Exclusive Collection was awarded the New/ Repackaging of a Drinks Brand; and Gérard Bertrand’s Centenary Box: One Century of Legend Vintages was named Presentation Box of the Year.

Dubai Duty Free was awarded the Airport Drinks Retailer of the Year (single location) and the multiple location title went to World Duty Free. P&O Ferries claimed victory in the Ferry/ Cruise Line Drinks Retail of the Year Category. In-flight Drinks Retailer of the Year was awarded to Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Europe’s Jameson #BeOriginal 360 Experiential Campaign impressed the judges and takes the Marketing Concept of the Year title.

Drinks International’s publisher Justin Smith added: “This year’s judging was tougher than ever before with consistent quality found across each category in both our operator and supplier awards. This year’s judging was a challenging day of discussion, deliberation and decisions as our expert panel drew up shortlists in each of the 16 categories.”

The full list of award winners is listed below and short list can be found here:

Supplier Awards

Marketing Concept of the Year – Jameson #BeOriginal 360 Experiential Campaign

Drinks Innovation of the Year - Heineken Brew Lock

Design & Packaging of a drinks brand - Johnnie Walker House Exclusive Collection - Amsterdam Schiphol Edition

Presentation Box of the Year - Gérard Bertrand’s Centenary Box: One Century of Legend Vintages

Travel Retail Exclusive of the Year - The Macallan Rare Cask Black

Drinks Launch of the Year - Glencadam 25yo - "The Remarkable"

Drinks Launch at TFWA Cannes - Stoli Gluten Free

Supreme Champion - Heineken Brew Lock

Operator Awards

Marketing Concept of the year - The Whisky World by Delhi Duty Free Services

Partnership Initiative of the Year - Retailer & Supplier - ARI (Aer Rianta International) and Teeling Whiskey

Ferry/Cruise Line Drinks Retailer of the Year - P&O Ferries

Airport Bar of the Year - Brisbane River Grill

In-flight Drinks Retailer of the Year - Virgin Atlantic Airways

Airport Drinks Retailer of the Year – Single Location - Dubai Duty Free

Airport Drinks Retailer of the Year – Multiple Location - World Duty Free

Drinks Buyer of the Year - Armando Gonzalez-Rue Head Buyer for DFASS Group