The London Wine Fair has moved to Olympia

The London Wine Fair has moved to Olympia

The London Wine Fair takes on its new guise next week after scrubbing the “International” from its name and moving west to London's Olympia exhibition complex. Here, just-drinks talks to some of the exhibitors who missed out on last year's event at ExCel and asks why they are keen to return to the revamped show. 

j-d: You weren't at the LIWF last year. Why not?

Moreno Wines & Co (Stand B52): We felt that the fair had turned into a global fair with very few UK buyers present, especially from the independent sector.

John Osborne, MD for PLB, (Stand Q70): PLB was one of the first to abandon the old format as we no longer saw the purpose and felt there was no real benefit to us or to our suppliers. The fair had become a hugely costly exercise.

Ben Cameron, Broadland Wineries (Stand S70): We were concerned that it was no longer fit for purpose. The buzz had gone and we felt the investment required would not provide the required return. 

j-d: You're returning to the event this year. Why? 

Moreno Wines: Because it's back at Olympia and the organisers have put in more marketing and PR for the independent sector of the UK market.

PLB: We felt that the format had changed significantly enough to represent an opportunity to return and provide value for PLB and our key supply partners.

Broadland Wineries: The change in location and the professional approach is a breath of fresh air.

j-d: What are you hoping for from this year's show?

Kit Ellen, Free Run Wines (Stand T65): Key industry decision makers visiting our stall and engaging with us and our suppliers.

Cecile Lavaud-White, Les Producteurs & Vignerons de France (Stand B40): We are hoping that the UK wine trade will support the fair as the organisers have listened to the trade and moved back to a more central location. The UK wine trade is vibrant and well established and we need a UK-centric fair.

j-d: Will the outcome of next week determine whether you return in 2015? In what way?

Les Producteurs & Vignerons: Yes. If the producers are happy with the quality of the visitors we will return next year.

PLB: We will undergo a full review post-event and will make a decision on 2015 attendance based on the results of this.

j-d: Which other trade fairs are important for you to attend? Why?  

Les Producteurs & Vignerons: France Under One Roof is an excellent fair as we get a large number of key buyers for a relatively small participation cost.

Free Run Wines: France Under One Roof because many of our current wine offerings come from France. But also ProWein, as it is such a large and important event.

PLB: Prowein is a very well-attended show by many UK customers and therefore has established itself as the European fair to attend.

j-d: How is the UK wine market performing for you at the moment?

Les Producteurs & Vignerons: There is more interest in French wines in general but classic appellations especially. The regions which are growing strongly are the Loire and the Rhone valley, with sparkling and Champagne also performing well.

Moreno Wines: Rioja is climbing again together with a 100% increase on Portuguese sales within the Independent UK market. Sicily sales are falling, but the rest of Italy is doing very well. The London on-trade is increasing by about 30% on last year.

Broadland Wineries: We are pleased, but not complacent, over our performance in the UK wine market. It continues to be very competitive.

The London Wine Fair takes place from 2 to 4 June. For further details, click here.