Illva Saronno has extended its travel retail team as it continues to build its presence in Asia. Byron Tian joins the company as Area Director for North Asia and Matteo Scarevelli is named Country Manager for Japan.

Tian will be based in Shanghai to expand Illva Saronno’s business interests across the Greater China region, including China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong, as well as South Korea. He is experienced in both the Chinese market and the spirits industry, having held general management and marketing roles with Marie Brizard and Diageo China.

Byron Tian (left) joins Illva Saronno as Area Director for North Asia and Matteo Scarevelli is Country Manager for Japan.

Scarevelli will be based in Tokyo to spearhead Illva Saronno’s targeted further growth in Japan. He has previously held positions at Bacardi Martini Japan and Treasury Wines Japan.

Both Tian and Scarevelli will report to Trent Russell, who was named Regional Director for APAC and Global Travel Retail in 2018. As reported, Illva Saronno boosted its global travel team with two other appointments earlier this year, with Nikos Tsagarakis named Global Travel Retail Director and Valentina Cozzi Global Travel Retail Marketing Manager.

“We now have a very strong and dedicated taskforce to grow our international travel retail business,” Russell said. “That is not just through airports, but other channels too, particularly the growing cruise business and downtown.”

In related news, Illva Saronno has decided to follow a trend away from ‘heavy’ alcohol to introduce a low ABV Disaronno cocktail, Disaronno Fizz, at next month’s TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition (Basement 2 M10).

Disaronno follows a trend for lower alcohol items to serve up a new cocktail at TFWA Asia Pacific.

The brand noted a “significant shift” in the perception of drinking over the past 18 years, citing the 2018 Mintel Alcoholic Drinks Review which indicates that 61% of Britons now deem it ‘uncool’ to get drunk. It also noted that lower ABV drinks are becoming increasingly popular with millennial consumers.

Tsagarakis said the new Illva Saronno cocktail targets the low ABV cocktail trend. “Being on point with consumer trends is extremely important to Illva Saronno. With Disaronno growing from strength to strength in the domestic market, this is only going to benefit global duty free retailers,” he added.

Illva Saronno is also targeting growth for its Tia Maria brand. “We have invested heavily into promoting Tia Maria in the domestic market, but we also have huge ambitions for the growth of the brand in travel retail. One of our main pillars of Tia Maria strategy is based on the mixability and versatility of our brand,” Tsagarakis concluded.