The official press conference of Vinexpo Hong Kong 2016 was held today where CEO of Vinexpo, Mr Guillaume Deglise, presented the results of the Vinexpo/International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR) study and showcased the new elements of this year’s show. Vinexpo will return to Hong Kong for its 7th year to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 24-26.
World’s leading wines & spirits expo returns to Hong Kong from May 24-26
Over 60 exclusive wine & spirit related events are underlining the expo’s renown as a key event in the trade calendar for keeping up to speed with latest trends and developments.1,300 international exhibitors from more than 35 producing countries will be converging on Hong Kong in May.
In keeping with tradition of the biennial showcase, one wine-producing country is accorded special status and Italy is in the limelight this year with a conference on ‘Italian wines in Asia’ along with masterclasses, tastings and product launches and Italian chefs from Hong Kong will also showcase their cuisine.
Among exclusive forums, it was announced today that China is once again the focus of latest insights into the vast and fast-growing market by industry experts, and the Australian market comes under the spotlight for the first time.
Homage is also paid to one of the world’s most historic grapes, as well as the regions that continue its noble heritage, with a ‘Shiraz Day’.
New initiatives encouraging trade interaction and networking are introduced this year, including ‘One to Wine Meetings’, enabling tailor-made appointments between exhibitors and specifically-targeted trade executives. “With visiting professionals just as important to us as the exhibitors, the service adds a superior degree of professionalism to the trade show,” said Vinexpo CEO, Mr. Guillaume Deglise.
Presentations on latest trends of key interest to sommeliers and F&B managers are by famous winemakers and critics including Debra Meiburg, Dixon Yuan, Jeannie Cho Lee, Li Demei, Michel Rolland, Simon Tam and Bettane & Desseauve.
This year’s showcase is staged as the Hong Kong wine market celebrates a gradual recovery from a slight slump with sales up 1.4 per cent at the last count in 2014. The Vinexpo/IWSR survey showcases that sparkling wine leads the recovery with demand up by a remarkable 46.9 per cent from 2010 to 2014, although the driving force is not Champagne, but Spanish cava and Italian prosecco.
As the overall wine market recovers gently, growth is most notable in the lower price range, up by 16.3 per cent, with affordable wines costing around HK$100 which are most popular with Hong Kong tipplers. The average price for a bottle has fallen from HK$154 to HK$124 as demand for premium wine falters.
Red wines remain most popular, with a 43.4 per cent market share, and among importers France still leads but with a diminishing market share, down to 26.5 per cent, due to falling demand for premium wines. Chile and Spanish wine sales are meanwhile soaring with the popularity of affordable ‘entry-level’ wines and proliferation of Spanish tapas bars and restaurants.
Niche spirits are growing in demand with tequila and rum notably gaining in popularity. The same is true for gin, driven by a recent revival in the popularity of Gin-and-tonic and Martini, following a trend in the US and UK. Japanese whisky, single malts and bourbon are meanwhile stand-out performers in the whisky market.
The Hong Kong market’s recovery is a welcome relief for the trade following a 7.4% slump in 2013 after years of strong growth, as a result of the Chinese government’s austerity drive.
But the new Vinexpo /IWSR study concludes that fundamentals for the China market, and Hong Kong as its main hub, remain strong in the long term. China, including Hong Kong, meanwhile remains the world’s 5th largest wine-consuming market, with China the 8th largest wine-producing country.
VinexpoHong Kong attracted nearly 17,000 trade visitors from 25 countries to the last expo in 2014 and is “without doubt the region’s foremost meeting place for wine and spirits professionals” said Vinexpo CEO, Mr. Guillaume Deglise.
Vinexpo is held in Hong Kong on alternate [even] years to Vinexpo Bordeaux, which is the world’s biggest wine & spirits trade exhibition. “We feel at home in Hong Kong, as the gateway to Asia’s wine and spirits trade and hub for the world’s fastest-growing wine market in China,” said Mr Deglise.
Winemakers from 35 countries including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Germany, the United States, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina are exhibiting at the three-day ‘shop window’ to the Asian market.