Exclusive ISM Review: Discover the Adventurous Consumer

The first trend of the year included by Innova Market Insights in their annual “Top ten trends in 2019” was “Discovery: The adventurous consumer”. Indeed, “discovery”, “adventure” and “innovation” were the main claims for the new products presented at ISM Cologne 2019, organized this January 27-30. World Bakers attended the event and made a selection of the most innovative products at the show.

“Consumers are on a big and broad journey of discovery, exploring bolder flavors and multisensory food experiences,” Innova Market Insights’s analyst explained in a conference at ISM. The trend was illustrated in the “New Product Showcase” section at the trade fair, where chocolate was the star. More precisely, ruby chocolate, exotic flavors such as matcha, or different shapes such as chocolate cones won the hearts of visitors. For example, the company Libeert combined the new ruby type of chocolate with the innovative shape of diamonds. Deli Cono put the finest Belgian chocolate in mini cones to create new premium assortments, with flavors such as coffee hazel nuts, hazelnut, milk chocolate or milk. Among the Asian preferences in the past years, matcha tea flavors made big steps to Europe. For example, Nouri Health – a new brand of healthy, all-natural spheres showcased its chocolate products with unusual flavors such as matcha green tea or coconut and chia.







On the other hand, biscuits and other baked goods illustrated the big trend of snacking, titled “Snacking: the definitive occasion” by Innova Market Insights. In other words: “evolving expectations around snack products fuel innovation across all food and beverage categories”. Petit Greeks, from Greece used the occasion of ISM to present an unusual new recipe of biscuits with tahini. “Although the origin of the word tahini – also known as a super food- is Arabic, it is an important ingredient of Greek pastry making,” the company explains. The Swiss company Wernli, with a tradition of over one hundred years, presented a new version of their classical Petit Beure biscuit with a layer of chocolate, using this time the ruby version – “Choco Petit Beure Ruby”:a thins stab of chocolate is poured from the new ruby alternative and laid over the dark Petit Beure biscuits. A Romanian start-up company presented new exotic flavored puffs: with smoked seaweed, cheddar or mango. The new products are organic, lactose-free and vegan.


“Alternatives to all” means that “consumers pay attention to health and sustainability, pushing more innovation in replacement foods and ingredients”, according to Innova Market Insights. Byron the Bear organic wildlife kids’ biscuits, a brand from Australia, presented its gluten-free products, cocoa and banana flavored. Besides the healthy products, the firm supports Australian Wildlife Warriors, an organization protecting injured, threatened and endangered wildlife. The Bulgarians from Prestige 96, a biscuit producer since 1996 in Veliko Tarnovo, showcased their new variety “Wellness” biscuits with no added sugar and probiotics. The Indian company Lovely Sweets from Punjab launched new egg-free assortment of almond roasted cookies.

The New Product Showcase has been the central platform for the industry’s new products since 2009 and has established itself as an appealing attraction for all decision-makers at ISM. A special exhibition in Hall 2.2, “New Product Showcase” displayed around 200 products belonging to  103 exhibitors from 28 nations.

The Winners of ISM

For the first time this year, the selection of the top innovations was made by an independent jury of experts from the industry, trade and field of science.

The top 3 medalists of ISM 2019 were:

  1. HPW with the Fruit Roll-up from Switzerland
  2. Katjes Fassin GmbH & Co. KG with the Hemptastic Hemp Bar from Germany
  3. Roelli Roelli Confectionery with Roelli Roelli Swiss Cannabis Gum from Switzerland
Bastian Fassin, Vorsitzender AISM, Prof. Dr. Hermann Bühlbecker, Gerald Böse, Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung Koelnmesse ISM Dinner mit Verleihungen: ISM Award , KölnSKY


The Fruit Roll-up, a healthy power snack with the tropical taste of pineapple and mango made out of 100% fruit,  contains no sugar, concentrates, cereals or nuts, but is comprised of  completely of dried, tropical fruits. The item is produced directly in the country of origin, Ghana, so that the majority of the value chain remains in the source country.

Hemptastic, which took second place is a new bar that comes in three flavors: cocoa & almond, cranberry & goji berries as well as cashew & coconut. The exceptional feature of the bar is that these flavors are now enriched with the trendy ingredient hemp (20% hemp seeds). Natural sweetness is achieved through the implementation of honey.

The Roelli Roelli Swiss Cannabis Gum, which claimed third place this year, excels with its cool freshness that is achieved thanks to natural peppermint oil. The chewing-gum is enriched with the active ingredient cannabidiol, which corresponds to around six grams of hemp.

Beyond this, alongside the best innovations, an additional prize was also conferred for the most innovative packaging of the special event – the ISM Packaging Award, powered by ProSweets Cologne. The winner is Chocal Aluminiumverpackungen GmbH for Chocal paper packaging from Germany. The special feature about the winning product is the sustainable and eco-friendly aspects of the packaging. It is suitable for chocolate figures of all kinds, as well as for bars or lollies and can be individually imprinted. It is made of 100% paper and is thus bio-degradable.

The award ceremony and announcement of the winners took place in Cologne for the first time, during the exclusive ISM Dinner event. Prof. Dr. Hermann Bühlbecker was also distinguished on the same evening with the ISM Award for exceptional services to the industry, as the first entrepreneur from a German company which produces sweets.

More about ISM trends and new products in our print magazine European Baker & Biscuit (Jan/Feb 2019), coming out soon! 

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