The inaugural WBWE USA show will be held on June 8th and 9th at Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds.
Bulk wine is the quieter side of the US wine industry focused on making and selling bottled wine directly to consumers or via the three-tiered system. The value of bulk wine is undeniable, with the growth of private label wines, the soaring ready-to-drink market, and rising supply chain costs for shipping bottled wine. Many wineries will tap into the bulk market to supplement a light harvest or develop a new wine with a profile not easily accessible state-side.
The World Bulk Wine Exhibit (WBWE) offers a powerful opportunity for those wine businesses that want to increase profitability by moving into the bulk wine trade. Over the past 13 years, WBWE has become the leading international wine fair in terms of business transactions. While the global event has incorporated the US, the WBWE team has long recognized the need for a fair that focuses directly on the expanding trade opportunities in the US market.
“The WBWE is the most important fair for Parras Bulk each year to realize the development of our strategy and internationalization,” says Bruno Tavares, Export Manager at Parras Bulk in Portugal. “The participation in the WBWE fairs allows us to show our wines and gather important information on markets, trends, and innovation.”
Events will include presentations and exhibitors focused on key wine trends, including fostering creativity, exploring new packaging methods, enhancing sustainability, creating and producing private label wine brands, experiencing quality wines of diverse profiles from around the world, and leveraging the bulk wine opportunity.
Global wine exporters are seeking the opportunity to access and build relationships with importers in the US marketplace, and for good reason. The purchasing figures of the American market are overwhelming: in 2021, bulk wine imports to the US increased +13% over 2020, reaching 367.7 million gallons worth US$7 million.
“Our winery produces large volumes of bulk and bottles with high notoriety,” says Olivier PLUT, General Director of SCA Clochers et Terroirs. Languedoc Roussillon – Sud de France. “With the participation in WBWE USA, we want to value our production of Premium Bulk wine in the export markets, particularly the US. Our goal is to offer high-quality bulk wine from the south of France and diversify and expand our portfolio of international clients.”
There is also a massive middle market of brokers and negociants who compete to buy and sell wine in bulk from countries like Spain, South Africa, Argentina, and New Zealand. Among their customers are the Private Label producers who are building a growing category of affordable wines sold by supermarkets, mass merchandisers, wineries, and even many celebrities. The rapid growth of canned wines has created another rising market for bulk wine imports.
Consumers buying private label brands are increasingly diverse, with many looking for niche brands tailored to what they want in terms of image and flavor. Private Label producers may be seeking to create an affordable and fresh wine for a canned wine brand, a robust and well-structured wine for a new brand for a supermarket shelf, or a wine with exotic notes to surprise and target a younger audience.
“We call that look & feel,” says Cristina V Miranda, marketing director of the WBWE, “Private labels are the best way to achieve any design goal while testing both the market and what it needs, all in a flexible manner. There’s no private label identical to another, and this segment is increasingly creative. We are aiming for a gathering with a vast array of wine varieties at the WBWE USA.”
One concern private label producers and branded wineries who import or export wine share is the need to contain costs. Bulk wine offers a sustainable solution since the wine is shipped in large containers and bottled at its destination. This process has a much smaller carbon footprint than shipping physical bottles from one country to another, which can be a positive selling point for consumers who are increasingly looking for products that support the environment. A related trend is the growing consumer demand for organic wines, which many bulk wine producers can deliver.
The US needs wine, and the wine sector needs the US. WBWE USA was created to help wine professionals gain the best possible trade with the efficiency provided by having everything under one roof.