As a one-off occurrence, the event was staged in April together with ProSweets Cologne - Special Edition - and turned Cologne into the international hub for the entire sweets and snacks industry again, organisers said in a statement.
The foreign share of industry visitors was very high and this year, a stronger focus was placed on addressing the challenges the industry is currently faced with and on the joint development of solutions.
"We are delighted that ISM was able to set a strong signal in spite of the one-off postponement of the event from the January to the April. The positive figures, particularly with regards to the number of visitors, show that we are in a position to offer an outstanding trade fair of unique quality and internationality even under these difficult conditions," said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH.
The Lab5 by ISM in Hall 5.2, the industry's new ‘place to be’ was a special highlight. Here, the visitors were able to discover new products in special sections such as the Start-up Area or the Trend Snacks Area, examine the innovations of the companies participating in the ‘New Product Showcase’ special event.
"The fact that exhibitors and visitors from the whole world flocked to Cologne on this unaccustomed date by way of exception, underlines the outstanding significance of this trade fair for the global sweets and snacks industry. The quality of the business contacts was very high. This was confirmed by representatives from both the industry and the trade," said Bastian Fassin, Chairman of International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM), added. The AISM is the partner and industry sponsor of ISM.
New products and trends
ISM revealed more consumers are placing importance on healthy and natural ingredients. Plant-based products and ingredients are still booming, which is reflected in Cologne by creative ideas for enriching foodstuffs with fibres.
Majlen Fazer, Senior Specialist in Product Quality, Cocoa and Chocolate at the largest Finnish food group, Fazer, won the coveted ISM Award with organisers paying tribute to her commitment for more sustainability in the sweets and snacks industry during the ISM Dinner.
The three most innovative products were distinguished with the Product Showcase Award on the first day of the trade fair. First place went to the company tri d'Aix GmbH from Germany with its ‘sweet sugar-free candy floss’. CAL Marketing Pty. Ltd. from Australia was delighted at coming second with ‘Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea Mochi’. World's Coconut Trading SL claimed third place with ‘Purple Sweet Potato Chips BBQ’ from Spain.
The ISM Consumer Award 2023 was conferred for the first time on the last day of the trade fair. The most popular item among all of the products submitted to the New Product Showcase was determined in a consumer voting on Instagram in cooperation with Foodnewsgermany. The ISM Consumer Award went to the company Mitsuba from the Netherlands for its Street Food Mix - a Japanese/Asiatic snack with an astounding taste.
- Koelnmesse also confirmed the next ISM is scheduled to take place in 2024 in its usual slot from 28 to 31 January.