Entry-level wine ‘most popular’ among HK consumers

The CEO of Vinexpo, Guillaume Deglise has revealed that as the overall wine market recovers, growth is most seen in the affordable category which averages at around $HK124 (£11).

Vinexpo’s CEO, Guillaume Deglise

Speaking to the trade and press at yesterday’s pre-show conference, Guillaume Deglise explained that the Hong Kong wine market is looking “healthier” as it sees a gradual recovery from a slight slump with sales up 1.4% from the last count in 2014.

The Vinexpo/IWSR survey showed that the growth is most noticeable in the lower price range – up by 16.3%, with affordable wines costing around HK$100 which are most popular with Hong Kong’s wine drinkers. The average price for a bottle has fallen from HK$154 to HK$124 as demand for premium wine slows.

Sparkling wine is also leading the recovery with demand up by a remarkable 46.9% from 2010 to 2014, although the driving force is not Champagne, but cava and prosecco.

Red wines remain most the popular, with a 43.4% market share, and among importers, France still leads but with a diminishing market share, down to 26.5% 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 in Hong Kong.

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 fifth largest wine-consuming market, with China the eight largest wine-producing country.

Vinexpo Hong 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 Deglise.

Vinexpo is held in Hong Kong on alternate years to Vinexpo Bordeaux. “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,” he said.

This year’s Vinexpo returns to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from May 24-26 with registration now open.

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