ISM & ProSweets events set to place product and consumer trends centre stage

Returning in its traditional January position, this year’s key ISM & ProSweets events are set to place major consumer and product trends under the microscope, highlighting key global industry developments, writes Neill Barston.

According to the events’ organisers, Koelnmesse, preparations are now ‘in full swing’ for the combined annual showcases, and you can catch a special exclusive preview in our next edition of Confectionery Production.

While it has yet to reach a final tally, ISM, taking place between 28-31 January, is dedicated to the finished product sector, has attracted more than 1,400 exhibitors hailing from over 70 countries, while its sister show, ProSweets having around 250 exhibitors from across equipment, systems and ingredients segments.

As the organising team noted, it will be renewing its core theme of  “Encourage. Enable. Excite!” which reflect some of the opportunities and challenges for the industry, including tests such as climate, raw materials, energy, supply chains, logistics, health and digitalisation.

Significantly, the ISM Award is being conferred for the tenth time this year, which will be conferred for outstanding services to the sweets and snacks industry will be presented during the festive ISM Dinner on 28 January, 2024. Majlen Fazer, Senior Specialist in Product Quality, Cocoa and Chocolate at the largest Finnish food group, Fazer, received the ISM Award 2023.

“After a very successful ISM Middle East, we are all looking forward to ISM 2024 in Cologne. It is going to be particularly exciting on the Expert Stage this time: Here we are offering the exhibitors and the visitors a colourful and creative array of events – panel discussions, best practices and presentations. In this way, we will present efficient and sustainable solutions from the industry and will be able to discuss new opportunities and future challenges. Beyond this, on the Expert Stage, together with ProSweets Cologne, we are placing the emphasis on aspects from the supplier industry,” stressed Sabine Schommer, Director of ISM.

Notably, as the show’s director added, the Expert Stage of ISM and ProSweets Cologne is also the central point of contact for new developments in the sweets and snacks industry during this year’s Sweet Week. Interesting lectures and panel discussions will take place at regular intervals here over the days of the trade fair. Furthermore, interested visitors can learn everything about the innovative and clever product ideas of international start-ups.

ProSweets and ISM are set to return later this month. Pic: ‘Neill Barston

Beyond this, daily trend presentations by ISM knowledge partners Innova Market Insights and Euromonitor will take place as part of the Expert Stage. In this context, Innova Market Insights will once again present the “F&B Top Ten Trends” of the year in 2024. Euromonitor will explain under the title “Anytime, anywhere? The evolution of snacking”, how current social changes are influencing consumers’ snacking behaviour and what this means for snack manufacturers and brands.

Sweet Trends, which is being organised together with Innova Market Insights, is taking place next to the Expert Stage. The market research institute, Innova Market Insights, will once again this year inform you about the new product trends and provide insights into the most recent developments for sweets and snacks.

The global sweets industry shows continual further development and surprises the consumers year after year with new taste experiences. In this connection, trend presentations by Innova will take place on the Expert Stage. Initial insights into the new products of the trade fair can also be found in the new products tool of ISM.

On the Monday of the fair, in the scope of the supplier trade fair, the exhibitors and visitors can look forward to the legendary ProSweets Cologne Party with live music, cool drinks and delicious snacks from 6:00 p.m. onwards.

Guido Hentschke, Director of ProSweets Cologne, believed that this year’s event would prove an especially strong edition, as it returns to its early year positioning after a shortened version of the event that took place last April.

He commented: “The event programme of the supplier trade fair also benefits from the spatial and content-related close interlinking with ISM.  This is the perfect platform for both the exhibitors and visitors to promote the industry-oriented dialogue and a professional exchange. The Special Shows strongly focus on the segments Raw Materials & Ingredients as well as Packaging & Packaging Materials, which are the strong fields of growth of ProSweets Cologne. To offer the full spectrum of themes of the sweets and snacks industry and to further emphasise the added values of the co-located ISM, we are thus also offering ISM trade visitors from procurement and production departments free admission to ProSweets.”


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