Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Cono Sur drops Western

Published:  23 July, 2008

Concha y Toro has taken back the sales and marketing of its Cono Sur brand after buying itself out of the distribution deal it had with Western Wines.

Cono Sur and the sub-brand Isla Negra will now be looked after by Concha y Toro UK (CyT UK), giving the company total UK sales of around 2.9 nine-litre cases and an estimated 40% share of bottled Chilean wine exports to the UK.

Cono Sur is the second supplier (after South Africa's Viliera) to break with Western Wines since it was taken over by Constellation Brands last month.

Although Constellation has not yet publically announced its plans for the Shrophire-based company when it takes full control in July, Cristin Lopez, managing director of CyT UK said it is not in our company's strategic interests' to work with Constellation.

Lopez told Harpers: It's a natural progression for our business in the UK. We enhance our offer with Cono Sur, it's a different range in terms of both its wine style and the consumer proposition. It's less mainstream and for more adventurous consumers. There is also a good fit in terms of distribution, with not too much overlap.'

Cono Sur's sales have fallen in the past two years due to price rises and a cut in price promotions. Isla Negra (which although produced by Cono Sur is not overtly branded as such) remains the biggest selling Chilean brand in the multiple grocers, with almost all of its sales on a 5.99 to 3.99 promotional mechanic.

Lopez added that the focus for Cono Sur was to build its

off-promotion sales as we have successfully done with Casillero del Diablo' and to re-emphasise its green credentials.

Former Western employee Patrick Brown has moved over to CyT UK to look after the independent sector, and Lopez said that the appointment of a brand manager is expected next month.

Mike Paul, managing director of Western Wines, commented: The Cono Sur and Isla Negra brands have been key elements in our portfolio and we are proud of our role in achieving UK market leadership.'