August 10 2023  |  Food & Beverage

Walker’s Shortbread sees 150 percent surge in travel retail sales

By Reedah Hayder

Walker’s cherished shortbread recipe, dating back to 1898, has made it a popular choice globally

This month, the demand for heritage products like shortbread has soared as travel and tourism drive a 150 percent increase in Walker’s Shortbread sales at airports and train stations.

The family-run company, known for baking “Scotland’s finest” shortbread for over 125 years, has witnessed a growing appetite for its products in travel retail. Walker’s latest global travel retail range, launched in March 2022, has been a significant growth driver, with sales now spanning over 30 markets worldwide.

“Walker’s has been operating in travel retail since 1975 and as a heritage brand with global appeal recently we have seen a growing demand from consumers in this space,” said Sarah Macaulay, Head of Marketing at Walker’s Shortbread, in an August 7 press release. “Naturally, GTR remains a hugely important channel for the business and this activation reflects our aspirations and goals in this area.”

Research indicates that tourists are more inclined to try local delicacies, contributing to the surge in shortbread demand. To meet this increased interest, Walker’s is launching a travel retail campaign, focusing on Scottish heritage, and is set to reach around 21.4 million tourists in August. At Edinburgh Airport, a remarkable pop-up featuring a structure of Edinburgh Castle made from shortbread pieces will greet over a million visitors during the bustling Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Walker’s iconic tartan and illustrations merging Scottish landmarks with shortbread shapes will be showcased, along with complimentary shortbread sampling and postcards.

To further promote the brand, Walker’s has invested in marketing at 63 WHSmith stores, including train stations across the UK. The brand’s cherished shortbread recipe, dating back to 1898, has made it a popular choice globally, and its commitment to provenance, quality, and heritage remains integral to its success.

Macaulay added, “We’re thrilled to bring this brand experience to Edinburgh Airport this summer, along with new marketing at WHSmith travel stores across the UK. We want to bring excitement and enjoyment to travel retail consumers as they travel through airports and train stations this summer, delivering an engaging experience which keeps this 125-year-old, iconic Scottish brand front of mind.”

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