Preparations for the 2022 edition of Choco Tec event gather momentum

Germany’s ZDS central college of the confectionery industry has played a key role over the past 70 years. Neill Barston meets its managing director, Andreas Bertram, who contributed to our World Confectionery Conference, as preparations gather momentum for this year’s Choco Tec event this December in Cologne.

Having successfully helped train the next generation of confectionery sector specialists for more than 70 years, the ZDS German confectionery college, has built quite a legacy. From its founding moments, the organisation has sought to offer a platform for technical excellence in the sector, which has contributed to the country being renowned as among the strongest performing in terms of both equipment and new product development.

As ZDS managing director Andreas Bertram explains, its major milestone has meant an awful lot to the college, which is continuing a mission to set the standard for education provision within the industry. Moreover, he says that plans for this year’s Choco Tec event, which is to be held at the Congress Centre north, at Kolenmesse in Cologne, Germany, are progressing strongly.

The sector showcase, which is held every two years, was forced to take place as an online event in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, yet the team behind the event were encouraged by the continued support for it in online form as a series of web seminars. But as Andreas notes, proposals for its latest edition, due to take place between 13-15 December 2022, are coming together strongly, despite wider market challenges.

“We realised that we were unable to hold our 2020 event due to the pandemic, but we are looking forward to welcoming everyone again later this, and we believe we’re going to have a great event,” enthuses the director on the show. The event has typically attracted more than 300 visitors from 19 countries representing the global chocolate sector. This year is no different, with its comprehensive programme has been put together under a banner of “Choco Tec, be part of the change,” focusing on trends, technology, sustainability and markets. This year’s programme is already taking strong shape, with contributions from Euromonitor on trends, BDSI trade body, Ritter Sport, Beneo, Nestle, Cargill, HDM, Sollich and Buhler.

Beyond the central conference programme, Andreas reveals there has been some particularly notable work from its organising committee in bringing together some additional new features for this year’s industry showcase, that he will be noting as he takes to the stage at our World Confectionery Conference in Brussels.

As ZDS revealed to Confectionery Production, its three-day event programme opens on 13 December opens with an address from Andreas Bertram and Christa Schuster-Salas, chairwoman for the event, followed by a key presentation from Euromonitor on snacks trends.

From there, the day includes contributions from Dr Torben Erbrath, of the BDSI German confectionery sector trade association on sustainable cocoa, followed by presentations from Barry Callebaut, Ritter Sport and Cabosse Naturals. The evening includes a gala dinner event in the city’s chocolate museum.

For its second day, the event includes a presentation on edible oil solutions from Cargill, plant-based industry solutions from Barry Callebaut, sugar reduction using 3D printing featuring ETH Zurich, plant-based chocolate developments from Beneo and a further session led by Nestle on its creation of the first more environmentally-mindful paper-based packaging of its key Smarties range.

The afternoon sessions include a technical focus from HDM on its chocolate making processes, as well as a further study from the BDSI on cocoa, as well as exploring EU legislation surrounding food safety in the sector.

As part of the event, there will also be a dedicated tabletop exhibition area, which includes contributions from firms including Siemens, Palsgaard, Aasted, WDS, Brunner, Caotech and Sacmi Packaging and Chocolate to name a few.

Finally, for the concluding day, the programme includes an examination of growth potential from German Sweets trade organisation, and a presentation from Buhler on efficient processes confectionery manufacturing, as well as looking at how technology is likely to influence future production techniques.

“We have some new features this year for example – as well as well as our foyer exhibition and our confectionery processing focus, we will have a ‘start-up corner,’ which will give young companies in the chocolate world the chance to be visible at our event,” he enthuses on the progress being made for the show. As he adds, the conference has now been running for more than 30 years alongside its other series of training events, and has become a focal point for its operations. “Choco Tec has become our biggest way of communicating with the industry, and people attend it for more than the seminar content alone, and want to be there to meet all the other businesses that are part of our industry. Personally, I think it’s the event that really makes a difference for us with its international focus, and we’re really looking forward to its return.” To register for Choco Tec, visit

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