Organisers Koelnmesse said once again, the sweets and snacks trade fair proved to be the international hub for the industry, with over 1,427 exhibitors from 74 countries presenting current trends and new products. In total, ISM attracted approximately 30,000 trade visitors from more than 140 countries.
Due to an extended event programme, exhibitors and trade visitors were able to experience the entire spectrum of the industry and benefit from additional networking opportunities. Once again, this year, it was possible to take advantage of the synergies along the entire value chain between ISM and the co-located ProSweets supplier show in Cologne.
"ISM is not only a business platform, but also a central meeting point for product innovations, a specialised programme and interesting discussions. It not only promotes the cooperation between different players, together with the industry it also enables new, pioneering paths to be trodden. For us the positive response of all the participants confirms that the customary January date is the optimal point in time for the sweets and snacks industry," said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse.
With a high share of over 70%, there was an ongoing strong presence of international trade visitors. The most strongly represented countries from Europe were Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Ukraine. Beyond Europe, particular growth was recorded from the People's Republic of China, Israel, Japan, Canada and the USA.
"Current challenges, such as the price increases for raw materials and energy as well as sustainability and climate protection issues, are approached holistically at ISM. Here, it becomes evident that the trade fair makes a significant contribution to the exchange and to the development of solutions," said Bastian Fassin, Chairman of the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM), added. The AISM is the partner and industry sponsor of ISM.
New confectionery products and trends
Regarding the current trends, ISM demonstrated that consumer awareness of healthy indulgence continues to grow. Through a series of talks, ISM visitors heard they are placing increasing value on sustainable ingredients and production. Healthier snack options like products that are rich in protein or low in sugar, for instance, also play an important role.
Sustainably grown, natural ingredients are also being implemented more frequently by the manufacturers. The upcycling of ingredients is also a forward-looking manufacturing method for sweets and snacks. Unexpected flavours are also increasingly coming under focus, feedback from ISM revealed.