Featuring the widest-ever range of wines and spirits to be showcased in Asia, the 7th edition of Vinexpo Hong Kong will take place from May 24-26, 2016 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 16,700 buyers, importers, sommeliers, distributors and retailers are expected to attend the show, which will feature more than 1,300 exhibitors from 35 producing countries. Attendees will have the opportunity to refine their tasting skills while they learn from the world’s top wine experts, thanks to a rich Vinexpo Academy program of more than 60 conferences, tastings, master classes and discussions. The Hong Kong event is produced by Vinexpo, the world’s leading show for wine and spirits professionals.
The number one wine supplier to Asia, with 27.24 million cases imported in 2014, France will occupy close to 80 percent of the entire third level – more than half of the total exhibition area – of the show. There will be French producers representing all of its appellations – from Burgundy to the Loire region, from Bordeaux to Provence, Alsace and the Champagne country, along with stands showcasing French spirits such as Cognac and Armagnac.
New exhibitor countries such as Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Mauritius will take their place alongside longtime European producers from Spain, Germany, Australia, Portugal and Switzerland; New World producers from California, Australia and South America to rising stars from New York, Oregon, Washington State and New Zealand; and an increasing number of Chinese wines.
One of the world’s major wine producers, Italy, has been named the 2016 show’s Country of Honor. Italy ranks as the world’s leading global exporter of wine by volume, alternates with France as the world’s top producer, and ranks 3rd in the world for wine consumption by volume. Italian stands will be placed at the heart of the show and will benefit from special “country of honor” signage that will increase their visibility throughout the showgrounds. Italy will also be the focus of numerous tastings, master classes, talks and conferences. The Blend, Vinexpo’s after-work party, will feature the motto “Aperitivo Italiano” and will serve a large selection of Italian wines, spirits and food.
Several exciting new show features will make their debut at Vinexpo Hong Kong. They include:
- One to Wine Meetings: Piloted at Vinexpo Bordeaux 2015, this complimentary “matchmaking” service makes it easy for exhibitors to connect with new clients and markets. One to Wine Meetings facilitates targeted and qualified business contacts and pre-schedules one-on-one business meetings during the show.
- Walk-around tasting with Gambero Rosso: Famed Italian wine guide Gambero Rosso will lead this event, presenting 60 Italian wineries and 10 spirits brands, each offering two products. The tasting will be held Wednesday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the HKCEC Grand Foyer. Gambero Rosso will also run two master classes on Italian wines and spirits.
- Grape variety day: This new show feature will debut in Hong Kong with Shiraz in the spotlight. Conferences, master classes, food and wine pairings and tastings will focus on various aspects of this varietal, while a “Best in Show” contest will name Vinexpo Hong Kong’s finest Shiraz wine.
Media may register for Vinexpo Hong Kong online by visiting the MEDIA section of http://www.vinexpohongkong.com/en and selecting “Order Your Badge.”
IWSR survey results revealed
As it prepares for the Hong Kong event, Vinexpo has revealed the results of its 2016 IWSR survey, an annual authoritative study of the alcoholic beverage market that is unique in its inclusion of a five-year forecast of global market changes. Among the key results, much pertaining to the U.S. market:
- While Millennials globally embrace wine as an established part of their drinking repertoire, they are also drawn to mixed beer drinks, cider and certain spirits like flavored whiskies, particularly as a wider variety of new products are being introduced across many categories. Craft beer, cider and sake are all slowly gaining share and have helped trigger a slowdown in the still light wine market to an almost flat 0.4 percent. Only the growing popularity of local wines has kept the category from entering decline.
- The U.S. remains the top consuming country in the global wine market, consuming 339.5 million cases in 2015.
- While volume in the U.S. grew at a rate of just over 2 percent, value rose to $29.15 billion, spurred by an improving economy that saw consumers trade up from lower-value brands and retailers discount less than in recent years.
- As consumer confidence improves, sparkling wine is gaining ground in the U.S. as an everyday drink– a trend that is expected to continue.
- U.S. wine exports have increased in volume and value, reaching nearly 50 million cases and $29.15 billion, respectively, in 2014. Europe was the top export market, followed by Canada, Japan and China.
Vinexpo organizes international wine and spirits events in Bordeaux, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Vinexpo Bordeaux is a major gathering for the entire industry – a key date for all wine and spirits professionals. In even-numbered years, Vinexpo Hong Kong brings together producers from all over the world attracted by the growing Asia-Pacific markets. Vinexpo Tokyo is a niche event specially created for the Japanese market.
Upcoming events: Vinexpo Hong Kong –May 24-26, 2016; Vinexpo Tokyo –November 15-16, 2016; and Vinexpo Bordeaux – June 18-21, 2017.