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Do gestures come any more lovely than this?
The front cover of the latest limited-edition version of Korean Air’s SkyShop magazine is dedicated to the memory of Lars Johansson, the man synonymous with the extraordinary success of Inniskillin Icewine in travel retail.
Tragically, Lars passed away suddenly during October 2009’s TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes.
Lars had a tremendous relationship based on mutual respect with Korean Air Senior Vice President, Catering & Inflight Sales Business Division Heather Cho. Both liked to challenge the status quo; both liked to stretch their powers of imagination and innovation.
That relationship included Inniskillin’s Korean duty free agent Won Kim (pictured right, below), owner of Brandepot Co, a man who shares Lars’ and Heather’s values, and who has done an amazing job for the brand in Korea,
Inniskillin always features in Korean Air’s monthly best-sellers’ list, often as not topping the non-Scotch whisky drinks rankings, ahead of some of the biggest names in the business.
Each year at the Singapore TFWA show, Lars would host a special lunch at the Conrad Hotel for Heather Cho and her senior Korean Air team. It was a lovely occasion that always featured some great wines and warm camaraderie. Each year The Moodie Report was honoured to have been asked to join the group.
Like all of us, Heather was shocked by Lars’ premature passing. And on the cover of the December edition she pays fulsome tribute to him, by dedicating the cover to Inniskillin and featuring a poignant range of photographs showing Lars, his wife Beverly, colleagues and the Korean Air team.
It’s a beautiful memory of a beautiful man, one that touched Beverly deeply when she received it.
Lars has passed away, but in this most special of publications and with every bottle of Inniskillin sold onboard Korean Air, his spirit lives on.