This week Hong Kong, one of the world’s largest business centres, prepared itself, as enthusiasts from every corner of the globe travelled to its shores for Asia’s largest wine expo. What did this colossal conference remind us about the emerging power of Asia in the global wine market?
The Changing China Wine Market
At the Ideal Wine Company, we recognise the emerging power of Asia in the global wine industry. Where only a few decades ago it was barely a blip on the radar, it is now a powerhouse, with China in particular becoming increasing important for the sheer amount of wine (particularly red) that it consumes on a yearly basis. The stock of Asian wines is also increasing in prominence amongst even luxury drinkers.
However, the expo may be coming at exactly the right time for Hong Kong’s parent country, as a survey from Vinexpo Asia Pacific showed that the country’s economic slowdown may be effecting its annual wine consumption; it fell by 2.5% in 2013, following a decade of continuous growth rates of 25% per year.
The Vinexpo Asia Pacific
This is why the Vinexpo Asia Pacific fair coming to Hong Kong last Tuesday was so pivotal – it reignited interest in the Chinese market, as the sheer size of the meeting drew interest from the world’s range of top vintage producers from traditional ones such as France to newer players on the scene such as Chile, Argentina and California.
The show coincided with a drive in Beijing to cut luxury spending, diverting funds from events such as luxury banquets, for example, to more practical concerns, running concurrently with President Xi Jinping’s battle to root out corruption. This would suggest that there’s currently no room for growth in the country’s luxury wine market.
The Potential of the Middle Class
However the organisers of the expo certainly disagree, and their efforts bore that opinion out, as they expanded the trade fair by 50% in floor space since its previous outing in 2012. Vinexpo chief executive officer Guillaume Deglise commented to news sources on how this shows the potential of the current market.
Deglise said that “this is the largest Vinexpo Asia Pacific ever. The markets of South East Asia and China are still booming,” before going on to say that “there are many markets in Asia where the middle class is expanding and this represents a great potential for the wine and spirits industry.” He concluded by pointing out just how much growth the region’s wine industry has measured over the past two years.
At the Ideal Wine Company, we see this as a case of ‘it has to be seen to be believed.’ The sheer volume of attendees at Asia’s largest wine expo shows that the interest is still very much there, and that in the coming months and years, this market is going to be one to watch for luxury wine enthusiasts.