A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
TWE has confirmed three new appointments to drive the strategy and distribution of its wines into airports, airlines, cruises, ferries and duty free stores.
Andrew Carter, managing director for Global Travel Retail at Treasury Wine Estates, said: “Our ambition is to significantly grow the size of our GTR business over the next five years, to become a genuine leader in the category, by inspiring travellers to discover and love great wine, and great wine brands.
“There are two immediate areas of focus for us: to increase the scale of our presence in GTR, and to build our brands in this critical global shop window.
“Today, wine is under-represented in the Global Travel Retail market, with spirits tending to dominate – we want to change that,” said Carter.
Carter said that while consumers can already purchase TWE brands such as Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Lindeman's in airports across Australia, Asia and Europe, there is an opportunity to work with customers to be more strategic globally.
“Business travellers and international tourists have discerning tastes and whether they are looking for a gift for a loved one or an addition to their collection, the global travel retail market is a perfect place to showcase our luxury and fine wines. To bring this to life, we need to work with our GTR customers to increase the size of the premium wine category and drive retail penetration globally,” said Carter.
Three new senior appointments and a sharper organisational structure for GTR have also been confirmed: “I’m thrilled to announce that Tom King will join us as global travel retail commercial director, Alexandre Bussiere as the global travel retail customer marketing director and Gordon Buchannan, the new sales manager, travel retail UK & Continental Europe.
King will report to Andrew Carter, and be accountable for the development of TWE’s GTR strategy, annual operating plan and also lead the development of customer relationships. King joins from Bacardi, where he previously held a number of roles, most recently as Bacardi’s global travel retail finance director.
Bussiere joins from GTR business DFS, where he was the wine category merchandising manager. Prior to this role Bussiere worked for Carrefour in France. He will report to Carter and lead the development of the customer marketing strategies and annual brand activity plans.
Buchannan has held several commercial roles over the last 14 years, and most recently was Bacardi travel retail regional manager UK & Ireland. Buchannan will report to Tom King. The three will join Treasury Wine Estates in late January.