KitKat and Akihabara add flavour to Narita shopping experience

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Now this is what I call a genuine travel shopping exclusive.

The product in question is Nestlé’s hugely popular KitKat brand but this time with a difference. In fact, four differences.

The pictures come from Japanese travel retailer Fa-So-La’s fantastically vibrant Akihabara foods and destination merchandise store at Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal 2. The long queue of customers testifies to the shop’s huge popularity with Japanese and foreign shoppers.

Here you’ll find a host of ‘Made in Japan’ items, featuring a wide array of beautifully packaged gift items, including… you guessed it, KitKat.

KitKat as a gift item? I’m kidding, right? Wrong. KitKat, Japan’s most popular confectionery brand has become a massively popular gift choice over recent years in the country, particularly for schoolchildren.

Destination merchandise the Nestlé Japan way

Nestlé  Japan has seized on that dynamic brilliantly, rolling out a continuing series of new, limited-edition, flavours.

Well, let’s add another adjective. Wacky. If Baked Potato, Soy Bean, Maccha Milk, French Salt, Pumpkin (!), College Tater, Red Bean Paste, Salt Watermelon, Houiji Tea and Apple Vinegar don’t constitute wacky then I’m Donald Trump.

It’s brilliant product development. And brilliant tailoring of the concept to the travel retail environment by launching regular flavour variants that can only be purchased at the airport. Check out Akihabara’s current quality quartet – Uji Green Tea, Cherry Blossom Green Tea, Hokkaido Melon and Japanese Strawberry.

And what about the communication? It leaves absolutely no-one in any doubt about the products’ ‘travel retail-exclusive’ status. Remember I said that term should be banned from our industry as no shopper uses the word ‘retail’? You simply must hammer home the message that this shop, airline or airport is the only place that shoppers will find a given product. Fa-So-La does precisely that.

Now, you might say the Akihabara signage is overkill. You might say it’s clumsy. And ugly. But tell me that it’s not effective.

Airport Exclusive KitKat
Only available at the airport, made in Japan
(You cannot buy these varieties outside the airport! 4 varieties.)

Take a bow Fa-So-La and Akihabara. Take a bow Nestlé. But don’t, in the famous words of the brand’s advertising campaign, have a break. Have a (travel shopping exclusive) KitKat instead. In fact, many more of them please.

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