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Chris Losh

Analysis: Constellation takes industry by surprise with Punch move

26 April 2007 | Chris Losh

The decision by Constellation to sell half of its UK distribution company Matthew Clark to Punch Taverns and form a joint venture with the pub retailer has left many in the industry scratching their heads. Chris Losh searches for the rationale behind the deal.... read more

The Losh Cause – Judgement Day for Europe’s winemakers

24 April 2007 | Chris Losh

The European wine industry has been in desperate need of radical reform for decades. Chris Losh hopes that proposals soon to be presented by Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel will at last offer a genuine and lasting solution to the industry’s over-supply problems.... read more

Comment - E&T endemic of Australian malaise

3 April 2007 | Chris Losh

Chris Losh sees the current plight of Evans & Tate, which recently rebuffed a takeover bid by the smaller, US-listed Australian wine producer Yarraman Winery, as symptomatic of the problems facing the Australian wine industry.... read more

The Losh Cause – Quelle Surprise!

13 March 2007 | Chris Losh

French wines with a catchy name and something of the New World about them are not a new phenomenon but, writes Chris Losh, there’s something about such brands that doesn’t quite ring true. What is required is a wine with enough of a French accent to make it sexy, but not the kind that will make it incomprehensible. Has just such a wine arrived on the market?... read more

Market conditions ripe for organic growths

1 March 2007 | Chris Losh

In spite of intense and mounting consumer interest in environmental issues and sustainable agriculture, organic wine is a comparatively undeveloped area of the market. But, writes Chris Losh, the current consumer zeitgeist and the marketing value inherent in establishing a strong point of difference for your product could change all that.... read more

The Losh Cause – The new New World

13 February 2007 | Chris Losh

As in any product category, fashions come and go in the wine business. And, writes Chris Losh, it appears that Old World wines, whether recently rediscovered gems or traditional offerings given a modern slant, are definitely in vogue, while New World wines are looking…well…rather 20th century.... read more

Wising up on wine in UK restaurants

16 January 2007 | Chris Losh

A seminar featuring a host of on-trade experts, held during the annual New Zealand wine tasting which is taking place in London this week, had some salutary lessons for UK restaurateurs regarding their approach to marketing wine. Chris Losh listened in.... read more

The Losh Cause – More woe ahead for Australia

2 January 2007 | Chris Losh

Given that drought and frost have all but eliminated Australia’s wine glut, it is tempting to regard this natural intervention as good news for the wine industry but, writes Chris Losh, in reality the adverse weather conditions have created greater problems at both ends of the price spectrum.... read more

FRANCE: China ahead of France in Cognac table

23 November 2006 | Chris Losh

China has overtaken France in Cognac consumption, according to recent figures.... read more

Harvest Report 2006 – Spain and Portugal

8 November 2006 | Chris Losh

Kicking off just-drinks’ 2006 harvest reports from northern hemisphere wine regions, Chris Losh takes a look at the contrasting fortunes experienced this year by Spanish and Portuguese wine producers.... read more

The Losh Cause – Trusting your instincts

27 October 2006 | Chris Losh

For all the facts and figures quoted by marketing strategists, Chris Losh believes that intuition can sometimes be a more powerful weapon than a spreadsheet.... read more

UK: Tesco buyer attacks uncreative wine industry

19 October 2006 | Chris Losh

The most powerful wine buyer in the UK has slammed the wine industry for being uncreative, slow to learn and failing to talk to consumers in a language that they understand.... read more

The Losh Cause – South Africa needs stronger brands

9 October 2006 | Chris Losh

As they gather in London for their annual tasting, Cape wine producers have two rather unpalatable facts to contemplate – falling sales in the UK and the country’s failure to build its presence in the GBP5-plus category. Chris Losh believes the absence of strong power brands lies at the root of both problems.... read more

S AFRICA: Rand slashes wine exports to UK

6 October 2006 | Chris Losh

The strong rand has had a devastating effect on South Africa’s wine exports to the UK, with sales tumbling by over 1m cases in the last year, according to industry stats obtained by just-drinks.... read more

The Losh Cause – Seeking inspiration

27 September 2006 | Chris Losh

Chris Losh believes that in comparison with many other consumer goods markets, inspired innovation is in short supply in the drinks industry, because of its emphasis on production and a failure to think “outside the box”.... read more

The Losh Cause – Uncharted Chile offers premium potential

29 August 2006 | Chris Losh

The news that a Chilean winery is acquiring a huge amount of land for vineyard cultivation in areas less well known for winegrowing has caught Chris Losh’s attention. But he believes such developments could offer Chile the chance to compete in higher price echelons where it has so far failed to convince.... read more

The Losh Cause – Havana Clubs

18 August 2006 | Chris Losh

With the battle between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi over the name Havana Club entering a new phase following Bacardi’s decision to launch its own rum of the same name in the US, Chris Losh asks whether Bacardi’s move is a legitimate step by a wronged company or a cynical attempt to cash in on another brand’s success.... read more

The Losh Cause – Bordeaux's long shadow

17 July 2006 | Chris Losh

Bordeaux not only has the most famous, most expensive wines in the world but casts a broad shadow, much to the chagrin of its competitors. Chris Losh sympathises with Bordeaux’s less famous rivals as they struggle for share of voice, thereby demonstrating Bordeaux’s uncanny ability to garner column inches.... read more

The Losh Cause – Bold reform on the way… at last

3 July 2006 | Chris Losh

Long-awaited draft proposals for EU wine reform get tough on sub-standard growers while freeing market-aware producers from regulatory fetters that have stifled innovation for too long. Chris Losh hopes the measures are adopted swiftly rather than becoming bogged down in Brussels bureaucracy and politicking.... read more

The Losh Cause – EC looks to get tough on over-production

19 June 2006 | Chris Losh

Chris Losh welcomes the EU Agriculture Commissioner’s recent remarks on wine over-production and distillation subsidies, but fears Mariann Fischer Boel may have her work cut out trying to reform a system which has been going so wrong for so long.... read more

The Losh Cause – Tasting confirms new world order, again

29 May 2006 | Chris Losh

A tasting pitting the finest Bordeaux wines against their Californian counterparts confirmed what many in the wine world have known for years but some in Europe still choose to deny - that the New World can match and often surpass the Old in every market segment, right up to the very top. Chris Losh sets them straight.... read more

The Losh Cause – Diageo’s original take on Australia

19 May 2006 | Chris Losh

It may have taken Diageo a long time to move into the Australian wine sector but now it finally has, with the launch of its 7th Continent brand, it cannot be accused of simply following the crowd. Chris Losh assesses Diageo’s original approach to the Australian wine market.... read more

The Losh Cause - Excellent 2005 wines unlikely to rescue Bordeaux

8 May 2006 | Chris Losh

The quality of the 2005 en primeur wines has given Bordeaux some good news to report at last. Chris Losh writes that the new wines are genuinely worthy of the wine trade’s effusive welcome but, taken as a whole, Bordeaux’s current situation provides precious little cause for celebration.... read more

The Losh Cause - Constellation-Vincor

19 April 2006 | Chris Losh

Constellation Brands paid a high price for Vincor International but Chris Losh believes the potential for Kumala in the US alone goes a long way to justifying the investment.... read more

UK: Chivas Regal eyes 4m-case mark

5 April 2006 | Chris Losh

Chivas Regal is set to burst through the 4m-case mark and challenge Johnnie Walker Black as the world’s number one premium blended Scotch whisky, according to the brand’s owner, Chivas Brothers.... read more

FRANCE: Guigal attacks dumbing down of French wine industry

27 March 2006 | Chris Losh

Marcel Guigal, one of the most respected figures in the French wine world, has called on the country’s big-name regions to drag the country out of its ‘structural crisis’.... read more

The Losh Cause

14 March 2006 | Chris Losh

Chris Losh takes a look at two new product innovations in the drinks business which severely test his sympathy for those charged with the difficult task of coming up with new ideas.... read more

The Losh Cause

27 February 2006 | Chris Losh

Having seen New World wine producers overtake them in so many markets, one would imagine that the Old World must surely by now have realised the merits of modern wine marketing. But Chris Losh believes they still need to wake up and smell the coffee.... read more

The Losh Cause

14 February 2006 | Chris Losh

As the Australian wine industry grapples with the problems of over-production and grower unrest, Chris Losh reflects on over-ambitious forecasts made during the boom years and the options facing shell-shocked farmers and wineries in these tough times.... read more

The Losh Cause

30 January 2006 | Chris Losh

Could the days of the wine export manager really be numbered? Chris Losh looks at UK wine agency Bibendum’s recent initiative which sees it effectively take over the European representation of three brands, and asks whether it represents the shape of things to come.... read more

The Losh Cause

23 January 2006 | Chris Losh

While some big wine brands have looked to build an on-trade presence in the last couple of years, the emphasis remains on gaining and retaining major supermarket listings. Chris Losh expects this to continue, which may mean big wine groups discarding some of their smaller labels over the next year.... read more

FRANCE: Wine distillation below EU quotas

16 January 2006 | Chris Losh

French wine growers are falling behind in their distillation obligations, according to figures released by the EU.... read more

The Losh Cause

20 December 2005 | Chris Losh

Having been acquired by DM Private Equity in March with promises of a new dawn, the UK drinks retailer Unwins has gone into administration after an eleventh hour bid to find a new buyer or come up with a satisfactory refinancing plan failed. Chris Losh reports.... read more

The Losh Cause

5 December 2005 | Chris Losh

The media-led moral panic in the UK over the introduction of liberalised licensing laws shows just how easily the drinks industry can be cast as malevolent and pernicious. Chris Losh sees this as an over-reaction but asks if the industry itself must take some of the blame when it is seen in this light.... read more

The Losh Cause

1 November 2005 | Chris Losh

Global sales of Scotch whisky may have recently gone through the GBP1bn barrier but, writes Chris Losh, worries over declining volumes in major markets such as France and Spain have resulted in cautious and qualified celebrations of this milestone.... read more