FENAVIN, which opens its doors on May 7, 2013, was the first trade fair to bring a delegation of Indian buyers to Spain, back in 2007.
The buyers making up the Indian delegation at FENAVIN 2013 are importers and distributors of alcoholic beverages, Directors of Food and Drink for hotel chains, and specialist Indian wine sector journalists. They will be looking in particular for red wine as it accounts for 70% of Indian wine consumption.
FENAVIN was the first Spanish wine fair that worked to bring a delegation from India, as noted by FENAVIN's Indian delegate Carolina Casao. She states that "the 2011 Indian delegation was very satisfied with the opportunity to come to FENAVIN and learn about the Spanish wine sector in person".
For example, during the previous fair the Food Manager from the ITC Welcome Group, India's most important hotel chain, attended and was, "an important presence as the wines subsequently imported were placed on the chain's five star restaurant and luxury hotel menus". During 2011, other important Indian attendees included specialist distributors such as Nature"s Bounty, and journalists from Indian wine industry and beverage publications such as Sommelier India.
Notably, Nature"s Bounty and the young and dynamic import company The Vine and Wine Society of India signed several important deals with a number of wineries at the previous FENAVIN trade fair.
De Lara: "FENAVIN is a map of the richness of Spain's wines"
According to Nemesio de Lara, National Wine Fair President, "it is satisfying to see how countries so far away from Spain, and with such different cultures and cuisines, come to our event and find products that satisfy their needs and even open up new business opportunities".
De Lara is convinced that "this shows that the Fair is a complete map of the richness and diversity of Spanish wines, and that FENAVIN is clearly an event that has proved that it can boost the sector 's international trade all over the world".
Wine consumption has developed favourably in India during recent years
Casao notes that "wine consumption in India has developed favourably in recent years, growing by up to 25% since 2010. Imports during the same period are up by 100%". Because of this she is optimistic about the coming years as wine drinking is becoming popular amongst the young population of India, with its increasing spending power and desire for status symbols".
The Indian Government is currently negotiating a free trade deal, expected to be finalized next year, which will allow more of the Indian population to consume imported European wine.
Recommendations to companies looking to export to India
The key factor for wineries looking to break into the Indian market, as well as arriving at the Fair with English-speaking representatives and with their promotional material translated into English, is to bear in mind that the Indian wine drinker is inexperienced and does not know about Designations of Origin. Due to this, "pricing is an important factor as India is a price-sensitive market". Furthermore, it is important to note that the Indian government "has decided to categorize wine, along with beer, as a healthy drink. This allows wine to gain exposure in the Indian market and wine consumption is increasing fast at the expense of other beverages with a high alcohol content".
FENAVIN's Indian delegate explains that companies that want to export to India need to adapt their labels to fit Indian regulations, as well as using screw-top bottles, as these are the norm in India.
As for Indian tastes, red wine is the most popular and Indian palates favour young wines, although sparkling white wines are also popular. Casao notes that there is high demand in India for quality wines with well-know brand names.