Another InterTabac show took place and InterSupply made its debut in Germany
The total area of the event in Dortmund on 18-20 September 2015 set a new record with a whole new hall, 3B, occupied by the new tobacco exhibition InterSupply which gathered suppliers to the tobacco and electronic cigarettes industry. It wasn’t bad for a debut, although the configuration of the hall indicates that some of the companies that had declared their interest did not come. No wonder: the industry is having difficult times, many suppliers speak about keeping their positions as their major task, growth is not even discussed. And these are in good shape. Others are on the verge of bankruptcy. For example, МТС Tobacco of Spain, just recently a famous supplier of equipment and MYO tubes, has stopped payments to suppliers and shipments to customers. In such cases it is not always evident, though, if it is the situation in the industry or poor management that is to blame. Be that as it may, InterSupply was filled with prospering rather than unsuccessful companies.
The highest number was of suppliers of tobacco materials, from global like Alliance One and Star Tobacco to local like Italian Flair. No engineering giants were present. Apparently, they are getting ready for TabExpo in London in October and want to avoid scattering resources which are becoming scanty. Services were represented much better: measuring instruments, aromas and flavours, labelling and marking tools, and suppliers of components for making e-cigarettes occupied dozens of small stands. Intensive talks were under way everywhere and the business-like atmosphere differed from the noisy and festive InterTabac in the neighbouring halls of the Westfalenhallen centre.
Many signature players have returned to the exhibition of finished products, InterTabac, with their own stands this year, for example the Dannemann cigar company (now with a relatively small booth though) or Savinelli, the oldest Italian pipe manufacturer. Virtually a whole hall was allocated for hookahs this year, as they are becoming more and more fashionable in the world along with expansion of Islam. Not only the majors of the hookah tobacco market like Al-Fakher, Nakhla, or Al-Sultan were present, but also smaller and so far little-known companies as well as suppliers of water pipes proper, hookah charcoal, and other accessories.
Electronic cigarettes were not represented as grandiosely this year as before. There were Red Kiwi and Хео from Europe, a few American companies, and lots of Chinese ones, including Smoore, Dekang, and others. But then, there were ENDS products from conventional tobacco companies. E-cigarettes and e-liquids were presented, for instance, by Von Eicken and OCB. The tobacco market leaders PMI, BAT, and Imperial did not publicise their electronic products at the event.
Neither was it without a small protest at the time of the exhibition opening. About half a dozen anti-tobacco activists in white smocks demanded that the exhibition “go away from Dortmund” causing visitors (coming in the thousands) and city authorities to smile, condescendingly. Suffice it to mention that in September a hotel near Dortmund for the days of the exhibition could only be found within an hour’s trip by train or by car and in Dortmund itself (if you had taken care in March or April) the prices were approximately twice as high as in other days. Dortmund flourishes thanks to InterTabac and other such events and the authorities are perfectly aware of that. Even smoking control was rather a formality: there were special places and all exhibitors and visitors were informed about the smoking rules, but no one interfered with conventional smoking at stands either.