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Summit meeting of the consumer-goods industry: Ambiente 2017 closes its doors after welcoming more exhibitors and visitors

Feb 15, 2017

After five energy-charged days, the world’s leading trade fair closed its doors today. Altogether, 142,000 buyers from 154 countries (2016: 135,988 from 142 countries[1]) made their way to Frankfurt for this pivotal consumer-goods fair, an increase of almost four percent. There, 4,454 exhibitors from 96 countries (2016: 4,386 from 95 countries[1]), presented the latest trends and innovations on 308,000 square metres (gross) in 27 exhibition halls.

“Ambiente is the international summit meeting of the consumer-goods industry”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. More than half of all visitors – 55 percent – came to Frankfurt from outside Germany. Moreover, the percentage of international exhibitors reached the record level of 80 percent. “Also particularly impressive is the increase of almost four percent in the number of visitors, which was split equally between German and international visitors. At Ambiente, representatives of the trade from all over the world expand their networks of contacts and place orders”, adds Detlef Braun.

Top German and international decision makers were also better represented than in 2016, and this ensured good export business and a positive atmosphere in the halls. The top ten visitor nations after Germany were Italy, China, France, the USA, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Korea and Turkey. Over 3,000 visitors came to Frankfurt from the United Kingdom, this year’s Ambiente Partner Country, an increase of around 200 over last year. There was also above-average growth in the number of visitors from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as the USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and South American nations, such as Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

Parallel to this, there was a significant upsurge in the number of visitors from Germany: “Ambiente, the leading international consumer-goods trade fair, is also the number one for the German retail trade. Covering the dining, living, and giving sectors, Ambiente is the professional venue for numerous German retail outlets where they order large parts of their assortment. The trade had the opportunity to discover the main trends and order the latest products”, said Thomas Grothkopp, Director General of the German Home and Office Association (Bundesverband Wohnen und Büro e.V. – BWB). And this was underscored by an unchanged high level of satisfaction revealed by the visitor poll: 95 percent said they were satisfied with the fair.

Exhibitor opinions


Oliver Berking, CEO, Robbe & Berking
“As the world’s market leader for silverware, we exhibit at numerous fairs around the globe. For a few years now, Ambiente has been calling itself, ‘Ambiente the Show’. For my company, this is what it has been for a long time – and this year more so than ever before. An exceptionally good fair and a really international show!”

Matthias Schöffel, Marketing Manager, Schönwald
“Ambiente is an indispensable fair for us, especially when it comes to international sales. The whole world comes to Frankfurt and it is an excellent opportunity to meet the vast majority of our sales partners and potential customers from all around the globe. In addition to general marketing themes and discussions with customers, the fair is also of enormous importance for us with regard to trend developments.”

André Scheffler, Head of Marketing and Sales/National, Fürstenberg
“We stopped coming to Ambiente two years ago, and this was our first time again since then. Particularly interesting were the international customers who came to our exhibition stand in large numbers and were distinguished by a very high standard.”

Dr Hermann Steinhauser, Shareholder, Rösle
“Ambiente is the leading international trade fair for us. This year, the mood at the fair was good across the board, which was primarily due to the attractiveness of the fair. We did not promote any particular product at the fair. Instead, we focused on the idea of cooking, of making things yourself and healthy nutrition. Also, we always use Ambiente to compare ourselves with our competitors, from whom we want to distinguish ourselves.”

Holger Raithel, Managing Director, Kahla
“Ambiente is and will remain the world’s most important consumer-goods fair for Kahla.”

Timo Keersmaekers, CEO, Aertsnv (Salt & Pepper)
“For us, Ambiente is the most important event for reaching German and international buyers. This year, Ambiente has once again further increased significantly in relevance, also in comparison to other fairs. For example, we met several buyers here who were not in Paris.”


Arnold Maier, CEO, AM Design
“Ambiente is an important fair for us because we launch our collection here and present the latest products to our customers. In principle, the age of order fairs is past. Making new contacts is what it is all about nowadays. The halls were always full and that is a good sign. The number of visitors at Ambiente is something to be proud of.”

Richard Van Roon, proprietor, Van Roon
“We returned to Ambiente after an absence of some years. The reason: we lost many of the customers we gained at Ambiente in all the years before. This year, we have been able to revive many old contacts, which is super. A start has been made and the course of business at Ambiente 2017 was very good for us.”

Peter Schönhofen, CEO, Kare Design
“The results of the fair have been positive with highly promising new, international contacts with respect to franchising, as well as well-filled order books.”

Jim Doyen, CEO, Henry Dean
“This year was very good and we are highly satisfied! The visitor standard was high and that’s what counts. Ambiente is simply very good for us, especially when it comes to the German-speaking countries. The mood in the halls and among our visitors was also good. And that’s also something, after all, we have some difficult years behind us.”

Hanne Hosbond, Key Account Manager, Georg Jensen Damask
“I am very pleased with the course of business at the fair. The mix was good. In addition to many small retailers, interest was also shown by a number of bigger department stores. And they came from all over the world – from the USA, Russia and Asia. The mood in Hall 11 was also very good.”


Liudger Böll, Member of the Board, Troika
“Held early in the year, Ambiente is simply the best forum for global business. This year, as in the past, all international customers were  there, as were our German customers, such as buyers from important department stores.”

Margit Wurzer-Stummer, CEO, Top Team
“A big compliment for Ambiente: Hall 9.2 is really excellent – from the readily identifiable concept, via the transparent layout, to the general upgrading through the inclusion of bags. It was time to change and the direction is right.”

Lars Adler, CEO, Hoff Interieur
“We are very pleased with our business at the fair. Both the number of customers and average sales are very encouraging. We even had some unexpected customers from countries such as Iceland, Finland and Sweden. We have been able to maintain our export quota and expect to finish with a slight increase over last year. Accordingly, we are highly satisfied. The top visitor nations on our exhibition stand were the Middle East, Lebanon and Turkey. There was a slight decline in the number of visitors from Italy. However, this was compensated for by increases from France and Spain – and we took a lot of orders from these countries.”

Rebecca Gough, International Services Manager, British Jewellery & Giftware International, British Allied Trades Federation
“For our members, Ambiente is one of the most important events for positioning themselves in the German and international markets. As this year’s Partner Country, we benefited from the good PR work, which ranged from extensive marketing activities to the wonderful presentation at the fair by Janice Kirkpatrick. Together with the Department for International Trade, we were able to further optimise the impact. And our members appreciated this.

Welcome the Netherlands! Welkom Nederland!
Curated by British designer Janice Kirkpatrick, this year’s Partner Country presentation, ‘Providence & Provenance’, referenced the heritage of the industrial revolution. Additionally, there was a large variety of activities and events revolving around the United Kingdom on the Partner Country Day and all eyes were on Elizabeth Hurley yesterday. During a tour of several exhibition halls, the star of the highly successful ‘The Royals’ television series was able to discover the latest kitchenware and tableware design from the United Kingdom and Germany.

Next year, Ambiente will spotlight Dutch design and take place from 9 to 13 February 2018.

The Ambiente Trend Report will be available from Thursday at

Note for journalists: 
Gain inspiration and discover trends, styles and personalities in the Ambiente Blog.

Further press information & picture material

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[1] FKM certified

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,300 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €647 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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