The worlds of bulk, branded, packaged and own label wines and spirits are becoming ever entwined as buyers and producers alike look at ever more efficient and sustainable ways to do business with each. Which is why in November the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show is returning to London with a new sister event, the UK Trade Tasting focused on promoting branded wines and spirits. The Buyer talks to events organiser Sid Patel, chief executive of the Beverage Trade Network, about what he hopes the two combined events can offer the UK and European wine industries.
The joint IBWSS (International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show) and UKTT (UK Trade Tasting) trade events take place in London on November 15-16 to give drinks buyers and bulk and branded drinks producers the chance to do business in one place.
You are bringing IBWSS back to London for a new trade fair and conference in November – why are you bringing it back now?
London is a global capital for drinks business. This is where trends are set. This is where a lot of bottlers and bulk wine and bulk spirits buyers are. After Brexit, the UK promised to be a separate market for a lot of our bulk producers and after listening to their request, we decided to start back our IBWSS London show.
With the growth of London Wine, Beer and Spirits Competitions that we do in UK, it was part of the long term strategy of Beverage Trade Network to grow its base in London and make London as it’s business capital for European countries as well.
How different will the event be to the last time you hosted IBWSS in London?
It will be almost the same but with one small difference. There will be more bulk spirits suppliers and buyers at the show. IBWSS London is a 50% bulk spirits show as 50% bulk wine show. We also have a lot of focus on sustainability, low and non-alcohol wines, RTD suppliers, mezcal and tequila producers. We have what buyers what today and where the trends are going.
How do you think the bulk wine and spirits market has changed in recent years and what is driving those changes?
Lot of things are changing in packaging as everyone is trying to be more sustainable. The spirits category has evolved and grown faster than wine and beer. Healthy drinks are in demand and have proven they are here to stay and not a monthly trend around the new year.
Retailers are allocating permanent shelf space to RTD’s, low and no-alcohol products.
Also the China sentiment has played an important role here, countries like Chile, Australia and the US want to do more business with UK and focus on UK market over China now. Macro demand in China has also slowed which means we can expect to see Chinese drinks buyers giving more support to domestic suppliers.
With companies increasingly looking to implement sustainabilty strategies do you see the bulk wine market being even more important to how wine and spirits are bought and sold around the world?
One hundred per cent. Big chains are looking at their suppliers’ sustainability certificates and also checking their entire supply chains. The more you are able to show that you are contributing towards becoming a sustainable supplier, the more competitive will you be.
Bulk wine shipping is a major way to show this. The US, UK and Europe have started this and are leading the way, but with new updates coming from the G20 summit, even developing nations like India and Africa are writing new rules for this.
What sort of businesses do you have exhibiting?
Bulk wine suppliers, bulk spirits, contract bottles, packaging companies. We have companies like Casa Maestri, one of the leading tequila distilleries, and Jalisco Mexico as an exhibitor, so if you are small retail chain, restaurant group, or an entrepreneur looking to start a tequila brand, you have the right company to talk to.
We have Endless West, industry leaders in the creation of innovative and award-winning bulk and packaged spirits from the US – so if you are looking for bourbon, speak to them.
We have JB Thome Co Inc, the oldest and largest reseller of beverage grade bulk distilled spirits in the US. MGP, one of the largest bulk spirits suppliers in the world, especially American whiskey and bourbon will also be there.
We also have top bulk wine suppliers from all over the world to help you with your bulk wine needs. Here’s just a few: Bodegas Entremontes and Cherubino Valsangiacomo, bulk wine and grape juice concentrate producers and traders from Spain; Coventry Vale Winery in the US; and Defined Wine in the UK that offers a full “crate to case” contract winemaking service. You can find a full list of exhibitors here: https://ibwsshowuk.com/en/exhibitors/2023/
Who do you hope will attend as visitors and it is most relevant for?
The International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show is the opportunity of the year for anyone involved in the production, selling, and buying of bulk wine, bulk spirits, contract bottling, and private labels.
You are also running the UKTT (UK Trade Tasting) for the first time having had success with the same concept and format in the US – what is UKTT and what can visitors expect?
UKTT is where brands meet importers, distributors and retailers of UK. If you are looking for exciting, fast growing brands, UKTT is the show to come to. These suppliers are ready to business with you. They are looking to grow distribution in the UK.
You are holding this event at the same time as IBWSS – why is that?
We wanted to hold both UKTT and IBWSS UK as the same venue at the same time as we believe they complement each other perfectly. Attendees will be able to walk the IBWSS section and the branded products section of UKTT. They will be able to take part in the first day in the IBWSS UK conference sessions, and then on day two enjoy all the UKTT sessions focused on branded wine and spirits issues.
By combining the agenda, we wanted to save buyers time, offer more for their visit. For exhibitors, our goal is to make them meet more buyers and this way, we will have better quality and more buyers.
Who is UKTT aimed at and most relevant for?
It is for UK importers, UK distributors and UK restaurants, bars and retailers.
Do you have more details about the two days of conferences for IBWSS and UKTT?
We are still pulling together the final list of speakers but on day one for IBWSS we have the following leading names taking part.
- Florian Ceschi, director Ciatti Europe.
- Robin Copestick, managing director Freixenet Copestick.
- Charles Cutteridge, wine sourcing manager at Morrisons.
- Irem Eren, head of sales and business development at BevZero.
- David Gill MW, specialist sales and wine development at Kingsland Drinks.
- Alex Green and Matthew Johnson, co-founders, Beyond Wines
- Robert Joseph, wine commentator, co-founder Le Grand Noir.
- Mark Lansley, chief executive, Broadland Drinks
- Paul Schaafsma, managing director, Benchmark Drinks.
- Mark Roberts, sales director, Lanchester Wines.
- Horst Mueller, global head VinLog at Kuehne + Nagel
- David Richardson, regulatory and commercial affairs director, WSTA.
- Ron Welsh, whisky expert.
On day two for the UKTT conference there will be a retail panel featuring:
- Jacobo Blumberg, AVS team leader at Amazon for beer, wine & spirits for UK and Germany. Jaco
- Ben Franks, co-founder of Novel Wines and Canned Wine Co.
- Bryan Rodriguez-Curtis, wine and spirits buyer at Harvey Nichols.
- Joseph Arthur, senior wine buyer at Marks & Spencer.
And a restaurant and on-trade panel including:
- Andrea Signanini, director of food and beverages at The Doyle Collection.
- Roberta Neave, category buyer at Star Pubs & Bars.
- Sarah Kundi, hotel manager at Brown’s Hotel.
- To find out more about IBWSS and how to exhibit and take part then click here.
- To find out more about how to take part in UKTT then click here.