The confectionery trade fair ProSweets ended on Wednesday after four days of intensive trade fair business in Cologne, Germany.
Improving processing efficiency with robotics and seizing upon clean-label trends with the sweetener stevia were the topics informing this year’s fair.
The fifth show in ProSweets history was its largest to date and the international scope of the event increased dramatically.
The Koelnmesse exhibition centre in Cologneplayed host to 17,000 visitors for ProSweets 2012, on par with numbers from last year’s event.
Around 60% of visitors came from outside Germany with strong turnout from the Dutch, Belgian, Turkish, Swiss and British contingents.
“We welcomed visitors from 96 countries, who made the event more international than ever before,” said Koelnmesse COO Katharina C. Hamma.
The show halls were occupied by 334 exhibiting companies from 33 countries, a slight increase on the previous year.
ProSweets welcomed back its Robotik-Pack-Line show for the second year running.
The show presented a robotics and automation systems from a cooperation of large companies and SMEs.
ConfectioneryNews.com caught up with a number of companies exhibiting packaging lines that featured robotics.
Company representatives from Cama and Cavanna spoke exclusively to this site about their robotic pack-lines in podcasts set to be published next week.
Packaging trends at this year’s show included untrasound and packaging foils made from biopolymers.
Clean-label and stevia
In another podcast for this site, Koelnmesse vice-president Peter Grotheus said stevia was the hottest topic for ProSweets 2012.
It therefore came as no surprise that stevia chocolate firm Cavalier scooped an innovation award for its product at the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM), the finished product show that ran parallel to ProSweets.
In addition, an entire session was dedicated to the sweetener’s potential application in confectionery at the ProSweets’ Conference on Ingredients.
Speakers included John Fry from Cargill, who spoke to this site shortly after his presentation in a podcast due for next week.
ConfectioneryNews.com also caught up with NIZO Food Research’s Stacy Pyett, who spoke about the benefits of functional dairy ingredients for confectionery in the Conference’s second session on dairy ingredients.
The fair also featured a DLG forum on sensory in confectionery production.
ProSweets was held alongside ISM, which brought key decision makers together in one place.
In an initial survey by the organisers, 70% of visitors described themselves as decision makers with purchasing and procurement power.
Anders Filt from processing technology company Franz Haas told this site: “It’s important to be here where our customers are. A lot of our clients who we deal with on a daily basis are here. We’ve seen a lot of our old customers but also a lot of new customers.”