ISM and ProSweets 2023 Review

ISM and ProSweets trade shows, which took place 23 to 25 April 2023 in Cologne, spread over 100,000 square meters of exhibition space, covering together the complete value chain for sweets and snacks. 1,274 exhibitors from 71 countries presented current trends and new products. In total, the trade fair duo attracted more than 25,000 visitors from 135 countries.

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 January to 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,” Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, emphasized.

“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,” Bastian Fassin, Chairman of International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM), added. The AISM is the partner and industry sponsor of ISM.

At 72 percent, the share of international trade visitors was customarily high. The European countries with the strongest participation this year were the Netherlands, Great Britain and Belgium. Growth was particularly registered in the number of visitors from Italy. Outside of Europe, the trade visitors primarily came from the USA, Korea and Israel.

New products and trends

Regarding their sweets and snacks, more and more consumers are placing importance on healthy and natural ingredients. Plant-based products and ingredients are still booming, which is reflected at ISM by creative ideas for enriching foodstuffs with fibers. The focus is being placed more and more on exotic aromas. New flavors like Smoky Tandoori, Bloody Mary or Mussels in White Wine are to increasingly conquer the market.

The Awards of ISM

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.

Majlen Fazer, Senior Specialist in Product Quality, Cocoa and Chocolate at the largest Finnish food group, Fazer, is the winner of this year’s ISM Award. The largest and most important trade fair for sweets and snacks worldwide paid tribute to her commitment for more sustainability in the sweets and snacks industry during the ISM Dinner.

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.

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