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HK wine fair ups spirits presence

This year’s Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair featured a stronger spirits presence in line with a rising demand for Scotch in Asia.

Whisky imports to Hong Kong were up 40% during the first nine months of this year

For the first time this year, the HKTDC fair saw a new area called the Whisky and Spirits Zone to capitalise on the growth in whisky imports to Hong Kong, which were up 40% during the first nine months of this year to total US$56m, according to the HKTDC.

The increased emphasis on spirits was also seen at Vinexpo’s fair in Hong Kong on 27-29 May this year, where the exhibition organiser trialled Spiritual, which it will repeat next year at its Bordeaux event.

Meanwhile, the IWSR stated in a release today that Asia remains the key region for the long-term development of the global alcohol market, despite the recent slowdown in China and other emerging markets.

According to the IWSR Forecast Report 2014-2019, Asia is expected to see the largest volume increase of any region across the beer, wine, spirits and mixed drinks categories.

Total yearly consumption is set to rise by almost 1.2 billion nine-litre cases by 2019. In contrast, consumption in Europe is projected to fall by 27.2m cases over this time, a result of steady decline in both the beer and wine categories.

Two Asian markets – China and India – are forecast to be the largest-growing spirits markets between 2013 and 2019, together accounting for a rise of 120.5m cases in yearly spirits consumption.

A busy whisky and brandy bar at the HKTDC fair

Local spirits (including national spirits such as baijiu, as well as local whisky and brandy) will continue to drive much of the expansion within Asia, according to the IWSR.

Meanwhile, local brands are forecast to increase with a steady compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +1%, and imported spirits are set to grow with a CAGR of +3.8% between 2013 and 2019, an increase of 8.7m cases.

The US is the only non-Asian market to appear among the IWSR’s top five largest growth markets for spirits in this period.

The seventh Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair closed its doors on Saturday (8 November) having attracted 20,000 trade buyers over 3 days.

Although organisers of the exhibition, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), recorded that visitor numbers were “comparable” to last year, the organization noted that the number of buyers from Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Spain and the USA were up.

Furthermore, the final day, which allows the public to attend the fair, saw a 30% increase in non-professional visitors to total 30,000 people.

John Tsang, financial secretary of the HKSAR Government, opens the seventh Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair

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