SIMEI@drinktec premiere marks record-setting year

drinktec und SIMEI
© Dr. Hermann Pilz

More international, more innovative and with the highest participation numbers yet cooperation between drinktec and SIMEI reveals that both trade fairs are stronger together. The two fairs have set the agenda for years to come, created synergies and brought decision-makers from around the world together in Munich.

drinktec, which premiered in 1951, has taken place in Munich every four years since the 1980s and become the world’s leading trade fair for the production, bottling and packaging of beverages of all kinds. SIMEI, which is held every two years in Milan, is the world’s largest trade fair for wine production, bottling, storage and logistics. Teaming up at last, this year’s joint fair brought the experts from the worlds of beer and wine together in the same location for the first time.

Best attendance in drinktec history

With 76,000 visitors from more than 170 countries, and over 1,700 exhibitors, drinktec surpassed all expectations with the highest attendance in its 66-year history. There were 10,000 more visitors than the previous event in 2013, and for international attendance, where drinktec already had a strong presence, the number of visitors grew by 12 percent, rising to 67 percent total. The record number of exhibitors (1749) was thanks in part to SIMEI, whose exhibition area, SIMEI@drinktec, doubled interest among visitors for wine, sparkling wine and spirits (the number of mentions rose to 17,480).

Synergies between wine and craft beer

SIMEI@drinktec saw around 200 exhibitors present their businesses in halls C2 and C3. Visitors were given a comprehensive overview of every aspect of wine production, from grape processing to bottling and labeling. Yet it was not only the vineyards, large and small, that were interested in SIMEI@drinktec, but also the craft brewers and microbreweries, as well as specialists in ale production. These craft brewers were especially interested in the ways that wine technology is geared toward small quantities.

Strong Italian and international presence at SIMEI@drinktec

The large turnout of Italian exhibitors was bolstered by the 6,250 visitors from their home country. There was also a major increase in attendance from wine-producing countries on other continents, such as the US, Argentina, Brazil and China. For instance, the export managers of Amorim Cork Italia, the world’s leading producer and seller of natural corks and caps, were overjoyed by the international interest shown by customers from South America, the US and Asia. Companies such as Bertolaso Gruppo, which produces machinery and bottling systems, GAI MACCHINE and Robino & Galandrino expressed satisfaction at the SIMEI premiere in Munich and their increased international exposure. Some exhibitors used inventive promotions to draw attention, such as the stand for the Italian glassware producer Bruni Glass SPA, where visitors could get involved in the design process and help decide the shape of future glass bottles as part of a competition.

SIMEI and drinktec thrive from cooperation

While attending drinktec and SIMEI@drinktec was a must for large wineries and bottlers from Germany and neighboring European countries, participation was difficult for smaller winegrowers given this year’s particularly early harvest. All in all, the expanded wine area was very positively received by all participants, visitors and exhibitors. The next SIMEI, which will take place in Milan in 2019, is certainly going to benefit from the cooperation that started in Munich this year. Cristina Bertolaso, from the Bertolaso Group, is sure of it: “SIMEI in Munich has brought us a lot of new potential customers. We’re ready to conquer new markets.”

Dr. Hermann Pilz

Dr. Hermann Pilz has been in charge of the trade magazine WEINWIRTSCHAFT as chief editor for over 20 years. He loves writing about many different topics of the wine and spirits industry.