The brand has become L’Occitane Group’s second-largest offering since the French multinational acquired a majority stake in it in November 2021. For the full year ending 31st March 2023, L’Occitane said Sol de Janeiro had reached €267m in sales, with growth spiking by 267.5% in the fourth quarter.
Cosmetics Design Europe spoke with Mona L’Hostis, Head of Global Travel Retail Marketing at L’Occitane Group, in an exclusive interview about the brand’s travel retail strategy, after launching in the category last month in a partnership with retailer Dufry.
She told us: "The exclusive pre-launch campaign with Dufry, is running for two months and is currently being showcased at London airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, and being rolled out at Stansted and Manchester airports this month (May). The campaign has already launched in Spain and will be deployed at other airports in Europe, followed by the US.
The London launch was supported by Dufry through its Emotion+ campaign, she added.
"This recent travel retail innovation has used online and offline channels to expand visibility, engage with customers and showcase exclusive products. The new 360° promotional campaign has also allowed the brand to expand touchpoints with customers via the ‘Red by Dufry’ VIP programme community and also instore. In addition, a significant media campaign has been rolled out so far at Gatwick and Heathrow, with Stansted and Manchester to follow, promoting Sol de Janeiro on more than 300 screens across the airports."
While stressing the brand has huge multigenerational fan base, it particularly resonates with the Millennial and Gen Z shopper.
L’Hostis added: "This is hugely advantageous to airport retailers as the brand not only attracts Gen Z but their parents too. In a study by m1ndset about Gen Z, it was revealed that this age group showed little interest in browsing Duty Free shops even to kill time."
Right place, right time
Having acquired the brand just over a year ago, L’Occitane Group has been keen for Sol de Janeiro to make its travel retail debut, she said.
"The timing is perfect now, as the brand continues to make its presence felt on and offline worldwide. Travel retail offers a unique opportunity to highlight the uniqueness of the brand to a global audience and to increase awareness, acting as an echo to local markets. For Sol de Janeiro, it is the perfect environment where the consumers’ openness to brand discoverability is at its peak.
"From initial travel retail data, the Sol de Janeiro campaign has shown tremendous results in just the first few days of its debut at London airports. Millennial and Gen Z audiences are driving sales with impulse purchases and capturing the experience via their social media channels."
This year, Sol de Janeiro has already invested substantially in social media and offline marketing campaigns to further create brand awareness among its target audiences, highlighting local in-store presence and dynamic local activations.
L’Hostis added: "Its products are efficacious and transportive – matching the travelling consumers’ mindset and desires. The brand provides the essentials for the travelling consumer prior, during and post-trip – from its bodycare franchise that promotes deep hydration in flight to its perfume mist category that serves as a post-flight refresher. Even more, it serves as the perfect gift for those back home. Of course, it’s also worth underlining how the brand attracts Gen Z, widening the offer in travel retail which is currently very narrow for this particular audience."
She said that Sol de Janeiro has proven a huge success globally and is one of the fastest-growing body care brands in the United States. It has also proven a sensation in markets such as the UK and Australia.
In travel retail, the brand is accelerating across Europe, with new partners in France, followed by the US. It is also currently considering APAC deployment both in terms of travel retail and in local markets.