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The 10 bestselling retail products at airports

September 10, 2016
Hudson Group
A Hudson Group retail outlet

Go to any airport and what do you see? A lot of people traveling. But you also see a lot of shopping going on. Many airports have become veritable shopping malls. For what, though, are travelers forking out all that cash for?

Now we know, thanks to Hudson Group, North America’s largest travel retailer, with more than 950 stores in airports and transportation terminals. It recently issued a list of its bestselling items. No surprise that eight of the 10 most purchased items by travelers are beverages. Topping the list is good old-fashioned, hydrating water. Airplanes circulate notoriously dry air that will turn a human being into the equivalent of beef jerky in a matter of hours unless one hydrates. That supplemental bottle of water is pretty essential, but judging from the Hudson Group list, some fliers find water a bit boring and favor drinks of a more flavored and sugar-leaden variety.

Here is the list of the top 10 items travelers purchase at airport retail outlets while waiting to board their aircraft.

  • Dasani bottled water (20 oz)
  • Glaceau Smartwater (20 oz)
  • Large Dasani (one liter)
  • Glaceau Smartwater (one liter)
  • Glaceau Smartwater (23.8 oz)
  • Diet Coke (20 oz)
  • Coca-Cola (20 oz)
  • M&M Peanut king-size
  • Coca-Cola Zero (20 oz)
  • The Wall Street Journal

People also like to read while flying and, clearly, the Wall Street Journal is the most popular newspaper in airports (followed by the New York Post, The New York Times and USA Today,) and their favorite magazines are US Weekly, In Touch, The Economist, Life & Style, Star, Vanity Fair and OK.

The bestselling books of late have been Bossypants by Tina Fey, followed American Sniper by Chris Kyle, and David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.

Suffice it to say that, in the case of most travelers, when they fly they buy — and drink and read.