World’s first-ever shortbread vending machine

Walker’s Shortbread is launching the world’s first interactive shortbread vending machine at Edinburgh Airport, offering travellers the chance to enjoy ‘Scotland at its finest’ this summer.

The Scottish brand unveiled the installation in May in partnership with the UK’s leading travel retailer, World Duty Free, which is operated by global travel experience player, Avolta. The ‘first of its kind’ interactive machine welcomes visitors to the ‘World of Walker’s’, where they can discover the story of the 125 year old brand, enjoy a complimentary shortbread finger and be recommended a product to purchase in the World Duty free store as they pass through.

Walker’s Shortbread is the number one confectionary brand at Edinburgh Airport, and

the only confectionary brand to have a personalised space within the newly refurbished World Duty Free store at Scotland’s busiest airport, which is expected to welcome 15 million passengers in 2024.

The vending machine invites passengers to take a digital quiz to help match them to the perfect Walker’s product for any occasion – whether for gifting, to share with family and friends or simply to enjoy themselves – and takes travellers on a journey to the Scottish Highlands, the home of Walker’s Shortbread, where the world-famous product is made.

Travellers will hear how the brand’s much-loved shortbread recipe, which uses just four ingredients, has remained in the Walker family recipe books since founder, Joseph Walker, baked his first batch over a century ago, before being dispensed a complimentary Walker’s shortbread finger to enjoy.

It also features a digital display with illustrations of iconic Scottish landmarks and symbols – including Edinburgh Castle and the Loch Ness Monster – and information on Walker’s latest in-store offers.

Nicky Walker, Managing Director at Walker’s Shortbread, said: “As a family-run business, we’re thrilled to launch the world’s first shortbread vending machine.

“Provenance and heritage is so central to our brand and is part of what makes our products so popular across the globe. Bringing a Scottish heritage product and a 125-year-old brand into an experiential sampling format is a great way for us to engage and appeal to today’s consumer habits, and ideal for those who struggle with knowing what product to choose.

“In 2022, our export revenues rose by almost 10 per cent – which is true testament to the love people have for our products and our GTR products are now sold in over 30 markets. By partnering with World Duty Free to create this installation, we’ll be able to reach international audiences while continuing our mission to share the joy of shortbread.”

Since launching its GTR range in April 2022, the range has gone from strength to strength, contributing to the brand’s impressive UK sales, which rose by 23% in 2022.

Gail Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer (Non-Aero) at Edinburgh Airport commented: “Millions of people from all over the world come to experience the very best of Scotland every year, and there’s no better way to say goodbye to them than with one of our finest treats.

“We’re looking forward to seeing this innovative shortbread vending machine in the airport and watching people leave with a lasting taste of Scotland.”

Jonathan McIvor, Head of the Confectionery category in the UK for Avolta comments: “We are constantly looking for unique and engaging experiences that excite, inform, and inspire our customers. This ‘first of its kind’ interactive vending machine ticks all those boxes and is sure to attract plenty of interest from travellers as they pass through Edinburgh airport.

“As the leading travel retailer in the UK, World Duty Free is proud to partner with, and support heritage brands such as Walker’s. This iconic brand delivers that all important ‘sense of place’, while offering our customers a way to connect to the spirit of Scotland and all things British!”

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International Bakery

Media contact

Joseph Clarke
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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