ProSweets Cologne 24

ProSweets Cologne focuses on the reformulation of sweets and snacks

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

ProSweets Cologne is set to attract over 250 exhibitors from over 25 countries at next year's event. Pic: Koelnmesse
ProSweets Cologne is set to attract over 250 exhibitors from over 25 countries at next year's event. Pic: Koelnmesse

Related tags ProSweets Chocolate Confectionery Sustainability Nutrition European union

More than 30 ingredients specialists are set to attend ProSweets Cologne, the supplier fair that runs along side ISM sweets and snacks trade show, to offer natural and sustainable solutions that contain less sugar or carry a clean label declaration.

As the trend becomes more popular with consumers, it remains a technological challenge for manufacturers to find solutions that reconcile health-related and taste aspects. Next year’s ProSweets Cologne will feature an extensive selection of functional ingredients that set benchmarks in the reformulation process and enable product concepts that excel with their innovative flavours and attractive colours.

Naturalness and health are becoming more decisive when purchasing snacks and sweets, organises Koelnmesse said. “Over 80% of consumers worldwide state that sustainability is important when choosing sweets​.”

The clean label trend also remains strong - products without additives are a matter for many consumers. As a result, all companies in the sweets industry are looking for the corresponding solutions, either by developing new products or by reformulating existing products.

Koelnmesse said that one of the most exciting questions discussed at ProSweets Cologne is how sweet manufacturers succeed in aligning the colour, texture, and taste to satisfy the trends towards a heightened awareness for health.


The trend towards reformulation is being further reinforced by Nutri-Score, which has been at the disposal of companies in Germany since the end of autumn 2020. One strategy pursued is the gradual reduction of the sugar content to retain the taste profile of a product and the related consumer acceptance. True to the motto ‘Cocoa first, sugar last’, the recipes for reformulated chocolate contain up to 80% more cocoa and half as much sugar today.

Exhibitors at ProSweets Cologne will demonstrate how sugar replacements can work as an integral solution in snack bars.

Natural colours

There is no question about it: Bright colours belong to the world of sweets. Colouring is about retaining authenticity and naturalness with shades reminiscent of seasonal fruits. For the ingredients specialists, there is no way around sustainable cultivation of plant-based raw materials rich in colour and gentle processing. Colouring foodstuffs gained from fruits, vegetables and edible plants are an ideal option for sweets manufacturers to unite rich colours and the possibility of a clean label, with many leading examples on show next year in Cologne.


ProSweets Cologne will also highlight ways to replace titanium dioxide (E 171), which has been banned in the European Union since February 2022. Due to its light refraction, titanium dioxide played an important role: It created white surfaces that let the colours shine out. Especially in the case of products coated in sugar a whitener is frequently needed to create a surface layer between a dark chocolate core and a coloured coating.

The latest innovations at ProSweets Cologne will look at calcium carbonate encapsulated with rice protein, which must, however, be declared as an additive. Rice starch is considered one of the clean-label alternatives with a high degree of whiteness. It is suitable for chewing gum, hard caramel, or chocolate drops. Thanks to the small size of the grains, it leaves a smooth surface on the coating without a grey or yellow sheen.


In January, over 250 exhibitors from over 25 countries will bring together the entire know-how of the international supplier industry for sweets and snacks in Hall 10.1. ProSweets is again being co-staged with Europe’s leading global trade fair, ISM, which will ensure many profitable synergies between the two fairs.

Apart from the ones mentioned above, many more innovations await visitors, such as an interactive event programme in the exhibition sections ‘Packaging & Packaging Materials’ and ‘Raw Materials & Ingredients’: The new event experience will be heightened by the use of the senses feeling, smelling and tasting.

During the sustainability debate, the ‘Sustainable Packaging Special Show’ will focus on the origin and procurement of products and their raw materials. The unique ‘InGREENients’ exhibition zone will present sustainable snack innovations made using unusual ingredients from all over the globe.

Also, with a view to future cooperation, exhibitors and visitors can directly exchange with selected start-ups, who will present their products within the collaboration section.

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