ISM Japan debut pushed back by a year due to ongoing Covid uncertainties

Plans for holding the inaugural edition of ISM in Tokyo in April have been postponed for a year due to ongoing uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, reports Neill Barston.

Proposals for the debut Asian version of the global sweets and snacks trade event had been put in motion and were due to proceed in two months’ time, but conditions within Japan remain challenging.

The country has imposed strict entry qualifications amid the Covid-19 crisis, with the country recently having reached a death toll of 20,000 from the disease, with a major spike of 100,000 cases a day being reached earlier this month.

However, according to organisers of the debut ISM in Tokyo said there had been ‘overwhelming interests and excitement from the industry’ in hosting the event since its announcement last year, but with the vaccine roll-out being comparatively slow against European countries, major events within the past year, including the delayed Olympic Games held in Japan in the summer of 2021, were forced to be held under tightly-controlled, limited spectator conditions. Borders to foreign arrivals have consequently been closed since November 2021.

ISM added that following a major assessment of the situation, the decision to move the event at Tokyo Big Sight back a year was made in consultation with its business partners, with the revised date now being 12-14 April 2023. It will feature a broad mix of exhibitors including manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, exporters, brokers, and OEM private labels of the following: sweets and confectionery, salted snacks, baked snacks, specialty snacks, frozen snacks, and raw ingredients.

There will also be two featured zones include the Specialty Market Zone – presenting free-from, organic, halal and functional products, and the Technology Zone – spotlighting the latest processing and packaging technologies for sweets and snacks.

“As much as we would have loved to bring the event to life this April, we felt it was important to give the participants the full experience befitting for an inaugural event. Moreover, the ease of participation for our international exhibitors are paramount to make it a successful event,” explained Mr. Makoto Takagi, Managing Director of Koelnmesse Co., Ltd.

He added, “We are currently seeing business networking at its finest during the ongoing ISM Cologne. We are looking forward to bringing this network and spirit to Japan next year. With the recovery of the global economy and resumption to a new-normal, the team is committed to working on building a strong first edition of ISM Japan 2023 and offering exhibitors an attractive business platform.”


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