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ProWein 2024 in the words of Director Peter Schmitz.

Lorenzo Biscontin, photo Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

An event like ProWein always generates a lot of expectation among operators in the sector. For the 2024 edition which ended two days ago, expectations and curiosity were even higher for at least two reasons: the decline in consumption that is spreading globally, especially among consumers under 40 yo, and the growth of Wine Paris which can question the consolidated balance between the main world wine fairs.

In the afternoon of the last day of the fair we interviewed Peter Schimtz, Director of ProWein, for his first immediate impressions of this edition.

Mr Schmitz, how did this year’s ProWein go?

We are very happy about the result of ProWine 2024 with a total number of more of 5.400 exhibitors from 65 nations and around 47.000 visitors from more than 140 countries. We have covered around more than 72.000 sqm in 13 halls.

Prowein has proven again its role as the leading top number one fair for the wine and spirits industry.

Today (AN: Tuesday 12th, last day of the fair) is little bit more silent because we had a problem: you heard there are some strikes going on and like last year they had an effect on this exhibition.

Sustainability was the key word of the 2024 ProWein: what indications have come from these three days?

We have a special area, the so-called Organic World in hall n.4 and we doubled space and exhibitors at this special area and we were very happy about that because this will also be the trend in the future and more and more so called organic vine growers will take part in our ProWein. This is the result of a growing demand from the end consumers.

We were really happy that we could welcome two NGO the “International Wineries for Climate Action” and the “Sustainable Wine Round Table”. They are very active in the sense of organic wines.

With ProWein Shanghai you have a privileged view of the Chinese market: how do you see it?

What we can see, especially last year, because last year we celebrated ten years of ProWein in Shanghai and, especially after the pandemic, this exhibition symbolizes the market recovered very well with more 650 exhibitors from 35 nations. An exhibition is a mirror of the market and what we hear, slowly but constantly China is recovering. What we can see is that there is a bigger demand for high level or finest wines and spirits. It was interesting in Shanghai to see especially group participation from eastern Europe having China in focus. We had a Hungarian participation, Georgian participation. From my point of view, they have a very good marketing because their products are in high, expensive, level, so finest wines.

Every year we carry out a survey asking the same questions to thought leaders in the wine sector from all over the world, so we are able to highlight different points of view on the same key issues.

The two questions for 2024 are:

What is the main threat to wine today? What is the main opportunity?   

We can talk about two threats for this industry.

The first one is a decreasing demand, especially in the wine sector, especially younger generations do not drink so much wine and this is really a threat.

The second threat is certainly the climate change. Many countries suffering about a lack of water, drought is the headline and so we can see that in South America Argentina is getting more and more problems, but also the southern part of Europe.

The main opportunities are also two.

The first one is the low and no alcohol drinks, wines, or spirits. This is something that younger generations demand more and more. This is alco a growing sector we have a special zone her at ProWine.

The second opportunity is that we have an increase of exhibitors in the spirit sector. We have launched our Pro Spirit in hall n.5 with more than 300 exhibitors from 48 countries presenting their products. They are near to the hall 7.0 where you can find the young and hip bar scene, we putted them close together because they are closely related.

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