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2019 HK IWSF - Fruitful returns for keen overseas wine merchants

The 12th HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), ended on Saturday (9 November) after a successful three-day run (7 to 9 November). The fair was staged at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and featured 1,075 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions, showcasing remarkable wines from around the world.
Over 15,000 buyers from 70 countries and regions visited the fair. Buyer attendance from Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Cambodia, Korea and Vietnam recorded satisfactory growth. Numerous renowned importers, retailers and e-tailers, including France’s Auchan, Russia’s Wine Shopper (Winestore LLC), Spain’s Caldos Extremenos S.L., Uruguay’s Los Dominguez, Japan’s Daimaru Department Store and Japan Craft Sake Company Co Ltd, Korea’s Shinsegae Liquor & Beverage, Singapore’s Underground Wines Pte Ltd, Mainland China’s Netease Yanxuan and Long Vision Global International Inc., also sourced actively onsite. In addition, the fair was open to members of the public aged 18 or above on Saturday (9 November), attracting over 21,000 wine lovers to taste and purchase wines and attend a series of events such as master classes, wine tastings and cocktail demonstrations.
A wide diversity of global wineries expand market via Hong Kong
Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “At this year’s Wine & Spirits Fair, the exhibitors showcased a fantastic assortment of wines from different regions of the world. We also welcomed new exhibitors from Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Vietnam to enrich the selection for buyers. In addition to wines and spirits, craft beers have surged in popularity in Hong Kong, and many local brews have attracted their share of fans. Exhibitors from Ukraine, Italy and Japan also brought their specialty beers to the Beer Zone to present to buyers. Other remarkable wines and spirits featured at the fair included the Sav Sparkling wine from Sweden, a refreshing baijiu catering to the taste of young consumers in Mainland China, as well as Japanese gins that have been gaining popularity. The diversity of products offered buyers ample choice for different needs and tastes.”
Chau added that, as a duty-free port, Hong Kong is regarded by global wine merchants as the most cost-effective distribution hub. Coupled with the keen demand for different wines from Asian and Mainland Chinese consumers, the global wine industry sees the Wine & Spirits Fair as an important promotion and trading platform. Exhibitors of all types of wines and spirits make good use of Hong Kong as a gateway to expand their business to Mainland China and other Asian markets.
Germany views Hong Kong as a gateway to Asia
Manuela Liebchen, Marketing Manager of Germany’s Deutsches Weininstitut, said: “Hong Kong has become a premier wine hub in Asia over the years, serving as the foothold for German wineries to penetrate the Mainland China market. Since the Hong Kong fair's inauguration, we have been exhibiting here for 12 years. The HKTDC has made utmost effort continuously to attract so many buyers from Mainland China, Taiwan, Macao and various countries in Southeast Asia. German wine producers can meet with different buyers to explore opportunities. This fair is well-organised and draws a lot of quality buyers. Through the event this year, we are able to secure a large number of buyers from Mainland China, Brazil, Australia and other countries. The results are very encouraging.”
Keen demand from Mainland Chinese buyers
Aura International from Mainland China successfully sourced new suppliers at the fair. Leo Ai Yi Fei, President of the company, said that the Wine & Spirits Fair is an excellent exhibition with a lot of good quality wines and spirits. He is now placing an initial order involving about 1,200 bottles of a scotch whisky with an UK exhibitor. Talks are underway with a Japanese whisky supplier with a potential order worth about RMB600,000.
Star-studded courses, forums and wine-tasting events; the Asia Wine Academy returned
During the fair, the HKTDC organised around 60 exciting activities, including a diverse array of seminars on wines, whiskies, Japanese wines, cocktails, craft beers and spirits, along with wine-tasting and wine-pairing events, offering visitors an all-round platform for trading and exchange.
In addition, the HKTDC again co-organised the Asia Wine Academy with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM). Lu Yang, the world’s first Chinese Master Sommelier, and Jeannie Cho Lee, Master of Wine, hosted a session titled “Looking into Variations of Cabernet” that was enthusiastically received. On the first day of the Wine Industry Conference, Debra Meiburg, Master of Wine, moderated a session titled “Game Changer: Marketing Wine in Millennial Bottles” that examined ways to promote wines to the younger generation.
2019 HK IWSF - Fruitful returns for keen overseas wine merchants