With ever stiffer price competition and transparency between online and travel retail, there will be increasing moves to differentiate the product offer. And own label could well be the one avenue to pursue.

The now ubiquitous Travel Retail ‘Exclusive’ has become a staple for both travel retailers and brands across the globe. But own label takes this a step further. It gives the retailer greater flexibility within a product category by giving shoppers an extra choice. In some cases this is important when these consumers are not particularly brand focused or who are simply seeking more value – because it allows retailers to provide an own label at a great price.

Hamburg-based Heinemann is a good example of a major retailer developing this idea. The company has been successful in creating an own label whisky under the branding of Royal Park, made by a partner. The blended Scotch, selling for 9.90 euros a litre – mostly in the border channel, but in airports, too – has sold a hefty 600,000 bottles in the first year since launch in the first quarter of 2016.

”It has to make sense”, says Kay Spanger, Heinemann Executive Director for Purchasing & Logistics. ”It is not something that we do just for the sake of doing it. In some channels we need lower price points and ways to attract the consumer”.

Heinemann is now looking at brandy, vodka and perhaps the gin categories to develop its own label activities, most likely under different branding. Looking after consumers at all price positions is going to be a key to turning penetration into conversion – and own label is a good way to do it.


Peter Marshall writes:-

If Heinemann get the same traction across a number of other product categories as it has on own label whisky, will or won’t the retailer use its own branding?

We think they should and so, in the spirit (pun fully intended) of being helpful, here is one fun idea of featuring the Heinemann brand within the liquor category by the creative use of the letter ‘H’ and incorporating it into the sub categories they may be considering.

It may well give the growing own label product choice a good and unique platform. Can just see the H ‘signature’ on the walls now……

We suggest:-

wHiskey by Heinemann

voHdka by Heinemann

gHin by Heinemann

cHampagne by Heinemann

If you have better ideas, feel free to get in touch – we are an interactive forum, after all!



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