World Confectionery Conference plans move forward for 2023

The World Confectionery Conference will return as a live event for 2023, and will be staged in the UK this autumn, featuring a dynamic range of industry speakers, as editor Neill Barston reports.

After successfully concluding our debut World Confectionery Conference plans for 2022, preparations are continuing to take shape for our follow-up show. In evaluating present business conditions that remain disrupted, we are set to co-locate with sister publication, Dairy Industries International, which is hosting its first Expo event this autumn in Harrogate, Yorkshire, between 3-5 October.

Our dedicated conference will take place on the final day of that event, at the historic spa town’s convention centre, and aims to bring together a broad cross section of the industry, as we previously achieved. One of the clearest pieces of feedback we received from our event last year, was its sense of diversity in terms of its audience, which we very much hope will be the case again as we move forward with our plans.

While sustainability took pride of place as a theme for our last year’s show, for 2023, we will also be addressing linked topics of delivering business resilience, as well as maintaining renewed innovation within the sector. As with our previous strong focus on keynote speakers, we are set for a notably strong line-up of sector representatives, including Caobisco European confectionery, biscuits and chocolate trade association. (See our exclusive video of our 2022 conference here).

There will also be a major policy presentation from Ferrero (as revealed in last month’s magazine), as well as contributions from Fairtrade, plus major trends will be analysed by industry insights group FMCG Gurus. Furthermore, as visitors found with our event in Brussels, they will experience additional presentations spanning the packaging, processing and ingredients segments of our sector, reflecting the dynamic readership of Confectionery Production within sweets, snacks and bakery segments.

Furthermore, after a strong uptake in 2022, our World Confectionery Awards will be making a return (see below) which served to celebrate some of the best and brightest talents across the sector. With a large degree of innovation taking place within our respective industries, this formed a valuable element for last year’s show, as part of wider networking opportunities on the day to mix with industry professionals.

The Kerry Group presenting at our World Confectionery Conference 2022

In addition, beyond our plans for the conference on 5 October at the Harrogate Convention Centre, the following day, delegates will also have chance to explore neighbouring York. The striking cathedral city is widely acknowledged as England’s ‘Capital of Chocolate’ with its heritage connected to the Rowntree’s family and factory, as well as several other famous British confectionery names that have influenced the region’s development.

Courtesy of independent confectionery business, York Cocoa House, delegates will have the opportunity to join a chocolate making experience, which will prove an enjoyable additional treat in a location that is at the heart of the industry’s national roots.

Among this year’s speakers, Francesco Tramontin, vice president of Ferrero’s group policy unit, responsible for EU institutional relations, noted that while the business, much like any other is facing its share of challenges with supply chains, and heightened costs of ingredients, he believed the industry is continuing to show a notable level of resilience. Commenting on his hopes for this year, he added that he was ‘excited to be speaking again’ and believed last year’s conference had proved engaging. He said: “I really enjoyed the diversity in the audience and the discussions that were had on stage. This is the beauty of the confectionery sector with its combination of bigger and smaller enterprises, as well as more technical elements, as well as all the very nice products that are sold to people, which I think was reflected at the conference.” Based on the feedback we received from last year’s event, visitors really valued the chance to network, which we will encourage throughout the day, including offering the chance to put key questions to our range of speakers during the day.

The informal, optional second day, based in York, also offers a prime opportunity for delegates to mingle further and soak up some of the industry’s history and cultural heritage. Confectionery Production editor Neill Barston commented: “Bringing together our plans for the Uk offers some strong opportunities for our sector to reconvene and celebrate the best that our joint industries offer. “While there are undoubtedly still business challenges out there, one of the core aims of this year’s event will be exploring how companies can be as resilient as possible, as well as how they can prosper through driving forward their respective innovations. We look forward to welcoming delegates to the UK for our event.”

World Confectionery Awards 2023

Following the success of our World Confectionery Awards for our debut live show, they will be returning once again for our 2023 event. While there may be ongoing challenges facing global economies, there are many reasons to highlight achievements across our fields of business.

Traditionally, confectionery, snacks and bakery markets have often been at the centre of wider industry innovation, which we aim to put firmly in the spotlight. With many outstanding developments across our sector, and as our parent company, Bell Publishing, passes more than two decades of publishing, we believed the timing was right to ensure significant developments and breakthroughs are recognised. The awards, voted for entirely by professionals across the industry, will mark supplier innovations across equipment, ingredients and finished product market segments. They will be presented as part of our 2023 event, which will encompass guests from the complete spectrum of the industry, from a wealth of small and medium enterprises, as well as larger businesses from around the globe. In total, there will be five supplier awards presented. Each business will be allowed to nominate a maximum of one company innovation into each of these industry honours.

Adrian Ling, CEO of Plamil Foods (centre of pic) with his award at the World Confectionery Conference, meets fellow guests at the event

This year’s categories include: • Equipment innovation – Dedicated to the overall design of new or existing equipment • Sustainability – Focused on initiatives delivering greater efficiency for equipment and systems for confectionery and snacks sectors • Team of the year – Marking a specific teams contribution’s and achievement to an individual business • Ingredients innovation – Celebrating major breakthroughs in ingredients • Best finished product – Showcasing dynamic new finished product confectionery lines The awards are free to enter, with companies able to place entries until 30 August 2023 to nominate in each respective category. This will be done through the World Confectionery Conference website. Entries should include a 200-word description on why their nomination has made a difference to the sector over the past year.

This can also be done through contacting Lauren at Lauren@ The awards will be independently moderated by our editorial board, and to ensure neutrality, only one vote per person is permitted. Multiple votes from an individual, or excessive votes from any one company will be discounted. There will be a shortlist announced prior to the event, with accolades being presented at the conference in Yorkshire this October

  • The new date for the World Confectionery Conference is 5 October 2023 at the Harrogate Convention Centre, Yorkshire UK, with additional activities on 6 October. To register, contact event manager Amy Best, at [email protected]  – Be sure to take advantage of our early bird conference visitor and exhibition rate which runs until April, and is of significant assistance in our event planning in terms of confirming prompt registrations. See our website for updates



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