Former Cordoniu boss fears a price war

Codorniu’s former UK boss has warned against the threat posed by aggressive promotions, and of the need to develop more channel-specific products, as retailers’ market share battles intensify.

Nick Mantella stepped down as UK managing director last week after 12 years with the company.

Its global director Javier Pages confirmed it had drafted in a headhunter to find a replacement.

He told OLN: “We are very committed to the UK. It is a very important market for us.”

Mantella, who joined Codorniu in 2002 as sales director before taking the top job in 2010 – when he replaced Bill Breen – told OLN he wanted to explore new projects in keeping with changing trends.

He said: “At Codorniu we’ve driven the sparkling wine category from 2 million to over 4 million cases over a sustained 10-year period.

“The key brands are well- positioned and distributed with a premium price position for sparkling wine and are out of the half-price business with support from the retailers, which has always been important.

“After 12 years, and with this all in place, it feels like the time is right for change.”

He added: “I fear for the trade with the mooted talk of price wars which is not good for anyone, but business would be boring without challenges.

“The tide is changing, I will be looking for challenges that mean greater market-by-market understanding to develop profitable brands.

“I believe having products developed and positioned for each channel and consumer habit – priced, styled and communicated correctly to fit – is essential.”

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