Bumper year forecast for TOPS at SPAR Wine Show in 2020

Wednesday, 4 September, 2019
TOPS at SPAR Wine Show
With four cities already under the belt in its seven-city WINEderland 2019 tour, organisers of the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show have announced 2020 dates for SA’s largest travelling wine show along with plans to introduce a new brand look and feel.

Destinations and dates for TOPS at SPAR Wine Show in 2020 are: Durban from 7 to 9 May; Johannesburg from 4 to 6 June; Cape Town from 9 to 11 July; Port Elizabeth from 30 July to 1 August; Pretoria from 1 to 3 October; East London from 5 to 7 November; and Nelspruit from 26 to 28 November.

Says Andrew Douglas, Owner and Producer, “It’s safe to say that looking back at the 2019 tour to date, we have had our best year ever in the show’s 14-year history. The collaborative efforts and buy-in of industry organisations, wine estates ranging from boutique to large-scale producers as well as important content partners has resulted in the delivery of a fantastic experience for our wine curious consumer audience.  The net effect was increased visitor numbers and record wine sales that exceeded even our greatest expectations - all of this augurs well for a successful tour in 2020.”

Good news for “early bird” exhibitors at next year’s show is that stand prices have been fixed at the same rate as this year, if booked and paid for by 31 December.

In response to the success of this year’s show, headline sponsor TOPS at SPAR has extended their sponsorship to 2022. Comments Mark Robinson, Group Liquor Manager of SPAR, “TOPS at SPAR is delighted to extend its current investment in The Wine Show until 2022. TOPS at SPAR have a serious role to play in the growth and wellbeing of the wine category and wine industry at large in South Africa. The show creates a time and place for meaningful conversations around wine for the benefit of wine producers, retailers and consumers alike”.

Douglas adds, “In 2020 with the extended backing of TOPS at SPAR, we’re pulling out all the stops to build on the successes of the 2019 tour. The new look and feel will capitalize on the Cape’s dramatic wineland aesthetics and raw natural beauty giving consumers a “step into the winelands” experience. The popular “WINEderland” catch phrase will live on with plans to build on various experiential elements including activities to further an important wine tourism agenda. More and more of our producers are utilizing world class wine tourism experiences to market and sell their wine and we wish to celebrate and support them in this endeavour”.

According to The Vinpro Foundation, a non-profit company representing 2,500 wine producers, cellars, and industry stakeholders and one of the show’s key stakeholders, wine tourism represents significant value within South Africa’s tourism market. Wine tourists also tend to spend more at their destination than other visitors – SA Tourism states that while the Western Cape captured 17% of international visits to South Africa in 2018, it received a disproportionate 29% of visitor spending. In recent years Wine Tourism accounted for roughly R6 billion of South Africa’s annual GDP.

The quality of both exhibitors and visitors to this year’s Wine Show has been very encouraging, says Debbie Combrink, CEO of the Wine Show. “We experienced significant growth in the number of exhibitors across the board, with an average increase of 45% with Durban topping the charts with a 61% increase in wine estates showing. We had 47% first-time exhibitors and a 51% increase in boutique winery attendance. Our footfall was exceptional, with 25% growth across the four shows to date with Cape Town achieving a 41% increase year on year. We believe our targeted marketing strategy, with a strong focus on digital marketing, extended the reach and talkability around the show.”

Combrink says the move to increased digital marketing efforts has resulted in a 65% new audience to date. “This new market has contributed to the year-on-year 10% growth, which has taken our under-40 audience to 76% and of that our under-30 to 41%. It’s clear from the feedback that this new market is enthusiastic and eager to learn about wine.” Stats also show that 53% of the show’s audience earn more than R20 000 per month.

Looking specifically at the Johannesburg show in June, Combrink said the purchasing behaviours were also very encouraging with a 52% growth in wine sales on 2018 with 92% of the approximately 6,000 visitors  buying wine.

The TOPS at SPAR Wine Show received high praise from guests in attendance this year, as reflected in Nadine Shone’s comment on Facebook: “Absolutely outstanding! I loved every minute with so much space and amazing wines. Definitely THE best show to date.” Langa Ndlovu echoes the sentiment, adding, “I’m going again next year! And the year after that!”

Limited stands are still available for the remainder of the 2019 tour and exhibitors interested in securing their space for 2020, should contact Exhibition Sales Manager Heinrich Von Weilligh as soon as possible at E: Heinrich@wineshow.co.za or P: 021 824 3132.