ISM 2023 is betting on joint solutions in challenging times

ISM 2023 is betting on joint solutions in challenging times

The world’s largest and most important trade fair for sweets and snacks returns to Cologne in Germany with new highlights and a diversified event programme.

A colourful selection of the finest sweet and savoury treats from all over the globe on around 100,000 m² at the Cologne exhibition halls: That is ISM 2023! After the Re-start Edition last year, about 1,300 exhibitors from 70 countries will present the trends of the international sweets and snacks industry again this year, which means ISM is confirming its position as the leading global trade fair.

The exhibitors include several newcomers from countries like Armenia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Trinidad and Tobago or Venezuela. There are 32 country pavilions from 25 countries and regions. The Special Edition of ProSweets Cologne, the international supplier fair for the sweets and snacks industry, which 117 exhibitors from 23 countries have registered for, is being staged parallel to ISM. Together both trade fairs cover the entire value chain for sweets and snacks, a unique constellation worldwide. This time with a different venue date: 23 to 25 April.

The one-off decision to postpone ISM and ProSweets Cologne – Special Edition until April 2023 was based on the many challenges the sweets and snacks industry is currently facing due among others to the huge price increases for raw materials, energy and logistics of the past months. “Which is why we are all the more delighted that we are recording such a strong national and international participation at ISM in spite of this one-off postponement. This confirms how important the leading trade fair for the sweets and snacks industry is and shows once again that the trade fair format is urgently needed by the exhibiting industry,” said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH.

With this year’s key theme “Encourage! Enable! Excite!”, ISM is addressing the industry’s manifold challenges and drawing attention to the related opportunities. ISM offers a platform for the dialogue between industry players and for joint discussions on innovative solutions and new approaches. Here, the Expert Stage of ISM and ProSweets Cologne – Special Edition is the central point of contact for the latest developments in the sweets and snacks industry. Various event and networking formats offer the opportunity to exchange experiences, discuss issues and gain inspiration.

International exhibitors

With a foreign share of exhibitors of 88%, the leading global trade fair for sweets and snacks is maintaining a stable, international level. The foreign participations with the highest number of exhibitors come from Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the USA. There are also many country pavilions again. The PR of China, Latvia, Lithuania and Taiwan are represented at group stands at ISM for the first time again since 2020. Peru is participating with a country pavilion for the first time.

Traditionally, both international market leaders as well as medium-sized and smaller companies participate at ISM. They are all represented in different product segments and pick up on current and future industry trends. Alongside the traditional product groups, such as sweets and snack items ranging from chocolate products and confectionery through to ice cream, the industry’s leading trade fair will also be presenting segments that focus on the themes snacking, to-go items, breakfast as well as gourmet products. All of the exhibitors are listed online in the ISM exhibitor database: The extended search can be used to filter the selection according to name, country, hall, product or trend theme from organic and brand names, halal and kosher, through to vegetarian and vegan.

ISM can also already report positive results on the visitor side. All important national and international trading houses and their top buyers have registered. Besides Aldi, Billa, Coop, Costco, Edeka, El Cortes Inglés, Globus, HIT, Kaufland, Lekkerland, Mercadona, Metro, Migros, Real, Rewe, Spar and tegut are also represented at the fair.

The new location Lab5 by ISM is one of this year’s trade fair highlights: There will be several sweet surprises in store in Hall 5.2, accompanied by relaxing music, a great ambiance and a delicious selection of exquisite sweets. In the afternoon, the coffee bar will be transformed into a Kölsch bar so that everyone can raise their glasses to a successful trade fair visit.

Last year, the newly introduced specialised trade section “Finest Creations – hand-crafted” proved to be a crowd-puller. With its focus on the small-volume business with sweets and snacks, this exhibition section is uniting 30 craft businesses this year, whose visitor target group comprises of confectioners, cake shops and specialised sweet shops. This exhibition section is also located in Hall 5.2.

Trend Snacks Area

Among the innovations at ISM is TETRIS Fruit Gummies, the new Gamer-Snack with 20% fruit juice, vitamins and 100% natural ingredients.

The Trend Snacks Area, where 40 companies from 20 countries are exhibiting, can also be found in Hall 5.2. The Trend Snacks Area of ISM provides a detailed overview of the entire product world of snacking. Suppliers of meat and fish snacks, vegan trend products, dried fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable crisps, fruity drinking chocolate specialities.

There is no way round the Start-up Area for people looking for newly-founded companies and their innovations. Here, around 20 international companies exhibit on one joint area. The Start-up Area is located in the Lab5 by ISM in Hall 5.2.

Further highlights of ISM 2023 include the presentation of the ISM Award for exceptional services within the sweets and snacks industry as well as the selection of the winners of the New Product Showcase. The new products of the exhibitors can be discovered at the New Product Showcase and on the ISM website.

In addition, the ISM Consumer Award 2023 will be conferred on the last day of the trade fair. The most popular item among all of the products submitted to the New Product Showcase will be determined in a consumer voting on Instagram in cooperation with Food News Germany.

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