Wine world in search of fresh range

May 21, 2024 | 10:09
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The wine industry faces numerous challenges, such as evolving consumer preferences. Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium, spoke with VIR’s Nhat Ha about his experiences promoting the wine industry worldwide and targeting potential new markets.

This year has been difficult for trading, so what are the key challenges for the beers, wines, and spirits industry, and are there any bright spots?

Wine world in search of fresh range
Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium

The challenges facing the industry include new consumer preferences, fluctuating market conditions, regulatory complexities, and environmental sustainability concerns. The pandemic has also brought about significant changes in the wine market, including shifts in consumer behaviour, accelerated digitalisation, and heightened emphasis on sustainability.

With these challenges also come opportunities, and Vinexpo serves as a business forum to address them through knowledge-sharing, strategic partnerships, and innovative solutions.

The event also remains at the forefront of these transformations, adapting its offerings to meet the evolving needs and preferences of industry stakeholders. Vinexpo Asia 2024 will showcase an increasing number of products from over 1,000 exhibitors from 35 countries. A wide range of wine and spirits products and categories will be presented.

Vinexpo Asia attracts many international producers. Besides traditional wine countries, what regions will emerge as hotspots this year?

The expo is our flagship event and attracts a diverse group of exhibiting countries. This year, there will be 35 exhibitor countries. The top international countries exhibiting are France, Italy, Spain, Australia, the US, and China.

Also present are Chile, Argentina, South Africa, and New Zealand, along with Portugal, Germany, and Switzerland. While all the countries will present many exciting and innovative products, it is worth mentioning that Australia will be of particular interest, as China has recently lifted its tariffs on Australian wines. New countries to be added are Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, and Mexico.

For every industry, international trade shows are essential. What trends and innovations are we likely to see at the Vinexpo Asia in Hong Kong?

Organic wine plays a crucial role in addressing sustainability and climate change concerns within the wine industry. By adhering to organic farming practices and minimising chemical inputs, organic wine producers help preserve biodiversity, reduce carbon emissions, and safeguard natural resources for future generations. Vinexpo Asia 2024 will feature a dedicated area for organic and biodynamic wines, which are increasingly gaining traction in Asia.

In addition, the latest market and consumption trends in 2024 reflect a growing demand for premium and artisanal wines, increased emphasis on sustainability and ethical sourcing, and greater diversity in taste preferences among consumers. The products offered at the expo serves as a barometer for these trends, providing insights and opportunities for industry players to stay ahead of the curve.

In Asia, spirits also play an important role, with rising consumer demand for sake, whisky, and baijiu, for example. At the event, the range of spirits and craft companies will be equally divided between international and French exhibitors. From whisky to mezcal, rum, sake, baijiu, and non-alcoholic drinks, Vinexpo Asia will explore every type of on-trend product.

Why do you choose Hong Kong and Singapore to host the annual Vinexpo in Asia, and do you have any other regular international events inside and outside France?

The Hong Kong market holds immense importance in the global wine trade due to its strategic location, vibrant economy, and sophisticated consumer base. As a major hub for wine distribution and consumption in Asia, Hong Kong serves as a gateway to the markets of mainland China and the Greater Bay Area.

Singapore also presents an important location for Asia, given its proximity to Southeast Asia and as a transport, trade, and logistics hub for the rest of Asia. For example, Vietnam is just a short flight away, and Vietnam visitors were among the top 10 countries to attend the 2023 event held in Singapore.

Besides its annual flagship event in France, Wine Paris, Vinexposium also holds other international events in New York, Mumbai, and Amsterdam as well as Vinexpo Explorer, an off-site event which changes destination every year.

Tasty trends in the wine industry Tasty trends in the wine industry

By bringing together 40 exhibiting countries, 1,300 producers, and 10,000 trade visitors at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 27-30, the Vinexpo Asia 2024 promises to highlight new market trends and changes in consumption habits for the wine industry in the year to come.

By Nhat Ha

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