The World Bulk Wine Exhibition (WBWE) is the leading platform for producers of premium bulk wines and spirits. The fair’s commitment to a more environmentally friendly and more sustainable wine industry has made it the international hub for discovering and purchasing a wide range of wines in alternative packaging methods. Producers from 24 different countries cater to importers who come from 60 nations across the world. Customized solutions are found to target products to fit the ever-changing demands of specific markets. Diversity in supply and a business model focused on profitability has made the WBWE the fair in which more contracts and packaging agreements are signed and sealed.
Meininger’s Wine Business International interviews the World Bulk Wine Exhibition CEO, Otilia Romero de Condés:
How does the WBWE support a greener and more sustainable industry?
At the WBWE we do not just encourage a more sustainable industry; our environmental commitment has actually been part of our corporate philosophy from the very beginning in 2009. This is not simply a current trend, but a way of understanding the business and international transactions that is at the core of a project such as the WBWE. It’s true that back in 2009 there were very few who were talking about this; fortunately, it is turning into an issue of global significance.
We believe that international wine trade can be conducted in a much more sustainable way and without a loss in profitability in any of the wine sectors. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. A greater amount of packaging at destination is part of the future for international transactions. And we’re saying “packaging” and not “bottling”, because our sector is increasingly open to extensive creativity concerning the way in which the product gets to the consumer.
World Bulk Wine Exhibition CEO, Otilia Romero de Condés
The passive consumer no longer exists for some time now. Today, consumers are interested in product traceability. For this reason, packaging at destination is no longer a handicap but instead something appealing. Consumers appreciate the growing environmental awareness of companies and the great number of creative and design possibilities offered by the “packaging at destination” alternative.
Packaging at destination is not for every winery nor is it for every wine, but it is a great option for many of them. The wine industry must continue to have a finger on the pulse of the market. If consumers are worried about the origin of what they consume, we should take advantage of this new awareness and make things even better.
Sustainability is also favourable in economic terms. It does mean changing part of the structure, which is never easy, but in the long term, it will be positive for everyone and will also help bulk wine to be understood as the quality wine it is, regardless of where it is packaged.
What kinds of alternative packaging are offered at the fair?
In addition to being a fair devoted to business, the WBWE has always been concerned about being the hub main future trends for the market via means of its forum for debate. This is the reason why alternative packaging has played such an important role within the fair for several years now.
Design and bulk wine go hand in hand. The bulk wine sector is tremendously creative and provides extensive possibilities. It is not a secret that canned wine is witnessing a boom worldwide. This “revolution” has a lot to do with bulk wine, which is why we are devoting a part of the forum to that. Two international gurus, Robert Williams and Denis Doorakers, are deeply acquainted with this subject and will speak at the forum.
In addition to canned wine, other creative possibilities will be featured, for example wine on tap and, of course, bag-in-box wine, which continues to grow for household consumption.
Confinements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought upturns in wine consumption at home. This is good news, but it also entailed a huge generation of glass waste. Many consumers begun to question whether it makes sense to drink bottled wine daily. If one family drinks four glasses of wine per day, the amount in terms of glass bottles per month and per year is daunting. Bag-in-box wine provides a greener and more convenient alternative for everyday wine consumption. The market must pay attention to current trends in regards to domestic consumption in order to tailor more attractive products tailored to fit the needs of each moment.
The discussion forum addresses the hottest trends and important global issues
Can you tell us about the keynote speakers and their topics?
For this year’s fair, we have prepared a very special forum that will be available for online streaming for the first time ever. A key feature of the WBWE is that it always hosts panels with top-level experts who address the hottest topics of the moment. We would like the entire sector to be able to access these discussions. One of the positive aspects of the pandemic is that streaming technology has quickly improved and makes this possible.
This year, our main focus will be on the challenges facing our sector in a post-pandemic scenario. Many things are changing within our sector and the WBWE is probably the first face-to-face forum in which this will be tackled. To achieve this, we’re pleased to have experts such as Robert Joseph, Polly Hammond, Richard Siddle and others join us.
Environmental issues, the revolution of canned wine, and creative opportunities for private labels are certainly subjects that will be addressed. More interesting subjects will soon also be announced.
What kinds of producers and products are exhibited at the WBWE?
The WBWE is the leading bulk wine fair worldwide. We offer the largest range of bulk wine from all over the world. It is a fair in which it is possible to taste en primeur wines from more than twenty countries.
It is a 100 % professional fair in which you get to discover the diversity of the world of wine, “wine at its roots” from many diverse origins and different varieties at varying price points. The WBWE is the optimal fair for entrepreneurs, purchasing managers, brand managers or businesspeople with ground-breaking ideas. It is also the fair for large wine producers and buyers who seek to maintain their quality standards, their brands and their annual sales commitments. It is a trade fair for professionals created by professionals.
Contracts and packaging agreements are signed and sealed directly at the WBWE
Does the WBWE have special relevance this year?
Yes, it certainly does because it will be one of the very few wine fairs to be held in the West. This fact, alongside a complex global situation relating to harvests, will turn the WBWE into a decisive event with regards to prices and international destinations for wines. Wineries will be vigilant and come well prepared because competitiveness is going to be very high.
How has the pandemic changed the bulk wine business and what can we expect post-pandemic?
As previously mentioned, the pandemic has highlighted some types of consumption that are no longer sustainable, such as domestic consumption of bottled wines for every occasion. An increase in wine consumption has become apparent and is being carefully analysed. The global trend indicates that following this pandemic we will spend increasingly more time at home (teleworking, on-line entertainment and leisure, etc.). It has also been proven that wine than spirits or beer are consumed at home. We must listen to this trend and offer products that are better adapted to this demand.
13th World Bulk Wine Exhibition
22nd and 23rd November 2021, 10 AM to 18 PM
Amsterdam RAI Hall 2 & 3
1078 GZ Amsterdam