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Looking back on 2016 and ahead to 2017: Dan Townsend, Treasury Wine Estates

Published:  28 December, 2016

Dan Townsend shares his thoughts on brands, Brexit and the good works of the Benvolent with Andrew Catchpole 

Dan Townsend shares his thoughts on brands, Brexit and the good works of the Benevolent with Andrew Catchpole 

What were the highs and lows for you and your business in 2016?

Seeing the positive reaction to our full year results in August and Team Europe playing its full part. Plus fully integrating Blossom Hill into our business and welcoming new colleagues into the TWE family.

The low point? Did anyone in the UK wake up on June 24 not thinking that business was going to be a little more challenging going forwards?

What were the most significant things that happened or issues and trends that occurred in 2016?

Further evidence that the strongest brands - those that truly connect with their consumers - will thrive and become even more relevant. But only the strongest. Weak brands will wither and die.

What trends do you predict for 2017?

The wine world adjusting to life after Brexit.

What are likely to be the biggest opportunities for the trade in 2017?

Customers hungry for genuine category building innovation.

What are the biggest challenges facing the trade in 2017?

Shrinking ranges, pressure on margins (the 'B' word again).

Who are the people, companies or retailers to watch in 2017?

Conviviality is changing the UK drinks landscape at pace and is a real game-changer. Talented people and a visionary leader.

What have you been most looking forward to drinking over Christmas and New Year?

For Christmas lunch, definitely Penfolds Bin 311 Chardonnay and I am really looking forward to sharing my bottle of 1964 (my birth year) Saltram Barossa fortified with my boys, both back from Uni for Christmas, over an evening or two and a frame or ten of pool. It does get a little competitive in our house.

What are you hoping for from Father Christmas?

To know where both my passport and my driving license are - a long story!

If you were granted one wish for 2017, what would that be?

That more companies would really get behind the Benevolent. It's been an amazing year with more corporate partners than ever before and some fabulous local initiatives amongst a core of supporters, but I would love to see more companies divert just a little of their overall charity efforts towards our own trade. It really does make a difference.

And your New Year's resolution?

To pay more attention to my fantasy football team. It's not been a vintage first half!