Spirits on trend: ProSpirits premieres at ProWein

ProSpirits celebrated its premiere at ProWein 2024. The growing spirits market was offered a suitable stage here. Credits: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

No place reflects the trends of the global wine and spirits market better than ProWein in Düsseldorf. The world’s leading trade fair for wines and spirits is constantly reinventing itself and responding to market developments and needs. The most recent example is the new ProSpirits brand world, which has been serving the prospering spirits market as a platform for new products and industry insights since this year.

For its 30th anniversary, ProWein once again brought together the global wine and spirits industry at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Center. Spirits were a particular focus this year and were given a suitable platform with the new “ProSpirits” area. “Now is the right time to take off in the spirits segment,” emphasizes Peter Schmitz, Director ProWein. “More and more spirits are being consumed worldwide and we have taken this development into account with a separate area.” Around 300 exhibitors from over 40 countries were represented. The growth driver is the increasing demand for premium products from the growing middle class in emerging countries. According to Statista, the global turnover of the industry is estimated at 493.4 billion euros by 2024 and is set to rise to over 600 billion euros by 2027.

Trends and topics in the spirits industry: ProSpirits showed what is currently popular worldwide. Vodka, tequila, liqueurs and co. There was something to discover for every spirit in Hall 5. Credits: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

ProSpirits as a stage for the spirits industry

However, vodka, brandy, liqueurs, agave brandies and ready-to-drink products, i.e. ready-to-drink cocktails and long drinks, are also becoming increasingly popular in established markets. Jürgen Deibel, a renowned spirits expert, showed what’s hot in the industry at the Trend Hour tastings at ProSpirits. Vodka is experiencing a return to the taste of grain or potatoes, with the focus once again on subtle nuances rather than neutrality. Another trend is the resurgence of brandy, which is characterized by the variety of different types of brandy and grape varieties in specific countries. Both young companies and traditional producers are experimenting with creative ideas and new approaches, which are made possible by the diversity of varieties. Producers of agave spirits such as mezcal or tequila use the diversity of agave varieties to vary the taste and character of their spirits. Tequila is produced exclusively from the “blue Weber agave”, while mezcal is made from a variety of other agaves, some of which take decades to mature before being harvested. Mexican producers were represented at ProSpirits with their own large stand, as interest in new exotic flavors continues to drive the market forward.

The world of liqueurs also offers a wide variety of different flavors, which are once again becoming increasingly popular. Jürgen Deibel identifies two trends in particular: an increased demand for sweeter cream liqueurs and the popularity of bitter liqueurs with their different flavors. The variety of flavors also makes liqueurs attractive for cocktails and mixed drinks. Liqueurs from Korea were represented in this segment at the trade fair for the first time this year with their own stand and the highly interesting world of Andong Soju integrated into it.

The craft scene was not to be missed at ProWein either. Numerous exhibiting companies came together in Hall 7 to present their latest products. Credits: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

While ready-made mixed drinks used to be frowned upon, a lot has changed in terms of quality in this segment. The “ready-to-drink” trend is spreading rapidly and forms an interesting contrast to the increasingly popular craft scene, which is cultivating a more natural image. In addition to the classics of the cocktail world, ProWein / ProSpirits will also feature a “ready-to-drink” mix made entirely with AI and based on fruit wine for the first time.

The “same but different” trend show was located right next to ProSpirits in Hall 7. Both segments are particularly popular with a younger audience, who also like to choose non-alcoholic alternatives. Jürgen Deibel reports: “In recent years, consumers have increasingly been asking for alcohol-reduced or alcohol-free alternatives to spirits.” This trend is also continuing at this year’s trade fair.

The individual trends are difficult to predict. In addition to the current global market situation, regional cuisines and fashion trends also influence the development of popular spirits and drink variants. ProSpirits helps to present these trends to a wider audience.

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