Independent distiller Loch Lomond Group has brought on industry veteran Andre de Almeida as Managing Director for Global Travel Retail to develop its duty free and travel retail business worldwide.
De Almeida joins Loch Lomond from William Grant & Sons where he was European Travel Retail Director.
“Travel Retail is definitely an important channel for the Loch Lomond Group and as a result I have been brought in to enhance the presence of the brands, develop its strategy and ultimately to grow the business. However, this has to be achieved in a sustainable manner, recognizing the positive role of the channel as a shop window capable of providing access to an international consumer base whilst having to operate within a challenging commercial structure,” de Almeida tells TMI.
“The main priority will be to ensure we have the right strategy for our brands in the channel, with a core range and an appropriate route to market in line with our future ambitions. At the same time, we will need to continue to reach out and engage with consumers through our partners, as we strongly believe in the quality of what is inside the bottle given the provenance, innovation and craft involved in the production of our brands, such as Glen Scotia and Loch Lomond whiskies.”
The GTR range includes 4 expressions from Loch Lomond: The Loch Lomond Single Grain exclusively distilled with malted barley; Loch Lomond Signature, a premium blend which undergoes its 100 cask solera process; Loch Lomond 12 year old Single malt which has spirit from two types of stills; and Loch Lomond Inchmurrin Madeira Single malt which comes exclusively from its pot stills with the rectifying head.
In addition to its GTR range, Loch Lomond also has available its Loch Lomond Original Single Malt Scotch whisky, available as an entry level single malt at an RSP of £29.99 for 1L bottle.
One of only three distilleries in the Campeltown region, Glen Scotia has had significant investment by the Loch Lomond Group to increase production, warehousing and also the creation of a new shop and tasting room. There are two brand new variants exclusive to the GTR channel: the Glen Scotia Campbeltown 1832, celebrating the founding date of the distillery, and the Glen Scotia 16 year old. In addition, the distillery is also releasing Glen Scotia Victoriana, a combination of casks finished in heavy charred oak casks from its cooperage and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. All the expressions are bottled non-chill filtered.
“At Loch Lomond distillery, we maintain, craft and finish our own barrels within our cooperage, one of only four in Scotland. Our whiskies from Loch Lomond are made with a unique combination of craft and innovation, and this can be exemplified in the various different types of stills used or the fact that our blended Scotch uses only whisky distilled in house at one location. We also uniquely in Scotland at least, produce single grain whisky made exclusively with malted barley in a Coffey still. At Loch Lomond we are definitely not most, and we never follow others,” he says.
De Almeida says it was necessary for Loch Lomond to create its own GTR exclusive range to build for future growth.
“Travel retail needs to continue to provide a differentiated offer to domestic and this must be offered through established suppliers as well as smaller brand owners. This provides choice to consumers and creates a reason for them to come back to the store, which is important for all categories but especially for Single Malt scotch whisky where consumers tend to look for discovery through new brands and products to add to their drink repertoire,” he says.
“The point of difference for the Loch Lomond Group will be our brands – Glen Scotia and Loch Lomond in particular – what they stand for and just as importantly the quality of our liquid.”
In travel retail, Loch Lomond already started to make inroads in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia in particular, says de Almeida. Chase International Inc. has launched the scotches into US Travel Retail and Caribbean markets.
De Almeida says his more than decade history working in the industry has set up Loch Lomond for success in travel retail.
“The experience I have had in the drinks industry since joining Maxxium in the UK over 12 years ago is invaluable in helping me to perform and succeed at the Loch Lomond Group. It provides me with a much broader understanding than just travel retail through the workings of different companies and cultures – whether as a distributor or brand owner, or whether working in domestic with a multiple grocer or managing a field sales team across contemporary bars,” he says. “Personally, I am looking to continue to learn more about the Scotch Whisky industry through the innovation and expertise at Loch Lomond Group. After all, every day is a school day when it comes to whisky!”
For further Brand Information contact marketing manager Scott Dickson firstname.lastname@example.org or Andre de Almeida email@example.com.