ProWein to feature beer for the first time 

ProWein is to feature beer and cider for the first time in its 24-year history when it opens its doors in Düsseldorf in March.

According to Marius Berlemann, global head wine and spirits for the exhibition, a new hall at the 2018 fair will be used to house ‘craft’ drinks, including beers and ciders, two categories of drinks that have never before been on show at ProWein.

Using an existing name for a section within the fair called ‘Same but Different’, ProWein 2018 will contain a new space, Hall 7.0, dedicated to ‘craft’ beers, ciders and spirits, following a demand from visitors for these products.

Berlemann told the drinks business on Tuesday this week, “Having questioned our visitors over the past couple of years it has emerged that there is an interest in craft beer and spirits, and so our research department has told us that we would be crazy not to respond to this demand.”

Continuing he said, “As the world’s leading wine show we must listen to the market, and if you go into a specialist wine shop anywhere in the world you will see more craft beers and spirits.”

As a result, ProWein has created a space with its own logo for “hand-made products” with a “trendy marketing concept”, stressing that exhibitors in this area can’t be “established brands”.

He also told db that he has already had to close the deadline for registrations for this new hall, having attracted 70 companies, comprising 49 spirits brands, 15 beers and 6 ciders.

“We don’t want more than 70 in the first year, but we aim to grow this number in the future,” he added.

The ‘Same but Different’ name was formerly used for a section within Hall 16 at the fair, which featured 10 companies with “innovative products”, according to Berlemann.

In 2018, this section not only takes over its own hall, but will also be branded differently from the rest of the exhibition, with its “own appearance, its own logo, its own entrance and its own catalogue”.

In effect, it is an independent show that of course benefits from the visitor audience of ProWein.

Berlemann also revealed that the new hall would have a “cool and trendy atmosphere”, and contain a bar.

However, he stressed that the focus of the section would be on the brands themselves, and, as a result, the appearance of the hall would be relatively simple.

“As much as 80% of the stands will be constructed by us, and we are keeping stand heights to 1.6 metres, so it’s easy to have an overview of the space,” he said, adding, “We don’t want people overwhelmed, we want the focus to be on the product, not the stand construction – which means that the starting point is the same for everyone.”

When asked by db why he didn’t use the word ‘craft’ in the name of the new section, he said that he wanted to use the already established ProWein sub-brand of ‘Same but Different’, as well as keep a fairly generic term for this new additional area to the fair, as it will be used in the future to house the latest developments in alcoholic drinks.

“It gives us the flexibility to react to certain trends,” he said.

ProWein and Same but Different will run from 18 to 20 March 2018.

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