William Hardy Shiraz

Hardys owner Accolade Wines has enlisted former Moët Hennessy Diageo Singapore director and GM David White to head up its marketing arm.

White, a wine and spirits industry veteran of 20 years who previously held roles at the likes of Glenmorangie, Edrington and Brown-Forman, takes up the position at Accolade this Friday.

He would be “an integral part of the UK commercial team ensuring we continue to drive value in the wine category and develop our power brands while exploring new territories and opportunities”, said Accolade UK & Ireland GM Ade McKeon. “David is joining us at a very exciting time in the company’s evolution.”

It comes as sales of Accolade’s wine brands have plummeted over the past year. Its seven largest brands, including Echo Falls, Kumala and Banrock Station, lost a combined £74m in value. Hardys suffered the greatest loss of any food and drink product in The Grocer’s 2017 Top Products report last month, with sales falling £36.5m to £277m [Nielsen 52 w/e 9 September 2017].

Sources say the pound’s weakness following the Brexit vote left Accolade unable to absorb cost spikes thanks to its brands’ relatively low retail prices, which led to a swathe of delistings. Sainsbury’s, for instance, has slashed its range of Hardys wines from 13 to four since January 2017 [Brand View].

McKeon told The Grocer declines were “in line with expectations and ahead of internal measures”.