ProSweets/ISM exclusive interview with Vice President Food, and Food Technology, Anne Schumacher

Anne Schumacher, Geschäftsbereichsleiterin Messemanagement

This year’s ProSweets takes place alongside the 50th anniversary of ISM. Neill Barston speaks to Anne Schumacher, Vice President Food and Food Technology at Koelnmesse, for an exclusive preview


Q: This year is a particularly special anniversary for ISM – what has been the secret of its success?
A: That is right, ISM is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The remarkable success story of the ISM began in Cologne in 1971 as a “spin-off” of Anuga. One important reason for its success is that ISM covers all trade fair segments sweets and snacks industry. And together with ProSweets Cologne that was established in 2006, both fairs cover the entire supply chain. Furthermore, ISM is the fair that gives a complete overview of all the developments of the industry, the market and competitors‘ activities.
ISM is tailor-made to suit our visitors’ needs and those of the trade. That means, exclusively end products destined for sale in retail outlets are presented at the fair. In doing so, visitors can find a high quality of products as well as high quality contacts, as even the CEOs of exhibiting companies are available onsite. The leading sweets and snacks fair offers a great mixture of established companies from all over the world and young start-ups that bring new innovative ideas to the fair.

Q: Will there be an overall theme for ISM and ProSweets this year?
A: We didn’t choose a specific overall theme for the ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2020. One topic we are focusing even stronger this year is the future of the entire sweets and snacks industry. The general motto of ISM “The future and heart of sweets and snacks” already goes along with that issue. ProSweets Cologne as the international supplier fair for the sweets and snacks industry presents also topics that are relevant to the future of the sweets and snacks production. With additional special events and sessions and a new summit during both fairs, we will cover all relevant topics that are not only currently discussed but that will also have an impact on the future of the industry.

Q: Both ISM and ProSweets have managed to attract very international audiences – what do you believe has been the key to achieving this?
A: Partially, these are similar reasons to those I mentioned on when we talked about the success of ISM. An additional aspect I would like to stress is that in my point of view both fairs are a perfect combination. ISM and ProSweets Cologne cover the entire value chain of confectionery production and distribution at one place at the same time. This constellation is globally unique. The exhibitors and a large proportion of the visitors at ISM also are direct visitor groups of ProSweets Cologne. And for the exhibitors at ISM, the proximity in terms of time and space is a great gain in information parallel to their own trade fair participation. Implementing product trends requires above all the right partners on the supplier side.


Q: Are there any new elements to this year’s events that will mark this out as extra special for 2020

A: Of course, one big topic will be the 50th anniversary of ISM. We will have a special show that provides insights into the beginnings of ISM. Several designed stands will show the look of the 70’s stands. And a small exhibition with photos and numerous historical ISM memories will tell our exhibitors more about the milestones of ISM. Besides the special anniversary, we will use this opportunity to focus even stronger on the future of the sweets and snacks industry with both events. In doing so, we decided to initiate a joint event for ISM and ProSweets Cologne called “#CONNECT2030. The Future Summit of Sweets and Snacks”, which will take place on February 4 in the Congress Center East of Koelnmesse.

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