Wine and spirits international trade fair ProWein 2018 welcomed a record 60,000 visitors and 6,870 exhibitors from 64 countries for the exposition in Dusseldorf between 18 and 20 March. ProWein 2017 recorded 58,500 visitors and 6,615 exhibitors from 62 nations.

Half of the visitors came from outside Germany, travelling from 133 countries worldwide. Approximately 70% of visitors were middle or top management.

The top exhibiting nations were Italy, France and Germany. Italy had 1,700 exhibitors, France had 1,550 and Germany had 990. The remaining 700 brands exhibited came from the US, South Africa, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

The products which attracted the most attention this year were German wines. German Wine Institute general manager Monika Reule commented on this trend, saying: “At this year’s ProWein trade visitors from at home and abroad took an avid interest in wines from German wine-growing regions.

“Especially the lighter but highly refined 2017 vintage white wines were received very well since they are in line with consumers’ current taste. This is why German exhibitors take positive stock as the trade fair draws to a close. They had special praise again for the highly professional trade fair audience.”

The vast majority of visitors used the trade fair to place orders and gain more information about global drinks brands. One in two visitors confirmed they found new suppliers and two thirds returned home with more knowledge about trends and innovations in the industry.

ProWein 2018 saw the launch of a new craft area following surveys from the 2017 fair, which showed nearly half of visitors expressed an interest in craft products. The area contained 76 exhibitors from 15 countries presenting beers, spirits and ciders.

Pro Wein global head of wine and spirits and director Marius Berlemann said: “Our new offering was received extremely well. This shows we have our finger on the pulse of the industry here and have succeeded in staging the theme right to the point. We are on the right track here and look forward to expanding the concept even further.”

He added: “Our long¬-term goal will be to expand the craft section and to sharpen the spirits concept in general.”

On top of its annual trade fair in Dusseldorf, ProWein holds shows worldwide. The next trade show will be in April in Singapore followed by Shanghai, China, in November.