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LWF continues post-Covid recovery with visitor increase

Published:  19 May, 2023

The London Wine Fair (LWF) organisers have given their verdict on a ‘successful’ 2023 show, which pulled in the visitors to above the 10,000 mark.

Though not quite back to its peak in 2018, LWF saw a marked improvement in visitor numbers during this week’s event, which is still in recovery mode following a significantly challenging past couple of years.

Following the last-minute cancellation in 2020 and a digital version in 2021 due to the pandemic, and then last year’s ‘bounce back’ event as the world emerged from lockdown, 2023 was the industry’s opportunity to get back to normal. 

Total visitors were 10,091, a 14% increase on last year, while 34% of visitors were from the on-trade. Tuesday was the busiest day of the three-day event, with more than 3,500 pairs of feet through the doors. 

The 2023 exhibitor numbers were also up on last year. This week’s fair saw a 30% on 2022, at 417. 

Head of fair, Hannah Tovey, said: “Anyone who came to the show this year will have seen a wine industry firing on all cylinders. After the many challenges of last year, there was a tangible buzz to this week’s event, with meaningful business being done alongside the never more crucial networking and knowledge sharing, which is so pertinent to London Wine Fair.”

Sustainability was also at the heart this year’s show. As the official theme for 2023, the show introduced initiatives such as the London Wine Fair 2023 Bottle Reuse Initiative, spearheaded by Porto Protocol and Sustainable Wine Solutions. There was also a widespread roster of discussions and panel debates, including Harpers own sessions: Aligning Supply Chain Partners to Sustainable Goals; and a joint session with Enotria – ‘Why is it important to have sustainable wines on your list?’

According to a data summary, ‘sustainability’ was the third most searched for category at this year’s Fair, after ‘country’ and ‘region’, indicating that sustainable products were high on the agenda for visitors.