23 / 25 APRIL 2023

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Press Release


Cologne, April 2023

The leading global trade fair for sweets and snacks impresses with innovations and new taste experiences Return to the usual January date in 2024

ISM once again offered a variety of the finest sweet and savoury treats from all over the world on exhibition space spanning around 100,000 square metres. As a one-off occurrence, the leading global trade fair for sweets and snacks was staged in April together with ProSweets Cologne – Special Edition and turned Cologne into the international hub for the entire industry again. Together the two trade fairs cover the complete value chain for sweets and snacks. After the re-start edition last year, 1,274 exhibitors from 71 countries presented current trends and new products. In total, the trade fair duo attracted more than 25,000 visitors from 135 countries.The international share of visitors from the trade was 72 percent and at 88 percent the foreign share of industry visitors was very high.

This year a stronger focus was placed on addressing the challenges the industry is currently faced with and on the joint development of solutions. “We are delighted that ISM was able to set a strong signal in spite of the one-off postponement of the event from the January to the April. The positive figures, particularly with regards to the number of visitors, show that we are in a position to offer an outstanding trade fair of unique quality and internationality even under these difficult conditions,” Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, emphasised.

“The fact that exhibitors and visitors from the whole world flocked to Cologne on this unaccustomed date by way of exception, underlines the outstanding significance of this trade fair for the global sweets and snacks industry. The quality of the business contacts was very high. This was confirmed by representatives from both the industry and the trade,” Bastian Fassin, Chairman of International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM), added. The AISM is the partner and industry sponsor of ISM.

At 72 percent, the share of international trade visitors was customarily high. The European countries with the strongest participations this year were the Netherlands, Great Britain and Belgium. Growth was particularly registered in the number of visitors from Italy. Outside of Europe, the trade visitors primarily came from the USA, Korea and Israel.

The Lab5 by ISM in Hall 5.2, the industry’s new “place to be” was a special highlight. Here, the visitors were able to discover new products in special sections such as the Start-up Area or the Trend Snacks Area, examine the innovations of the companies participating in the “New Product Showcase” special event and raise their glasses to an inspiring trade fair visit at the Lab5 Bar accompanied by nice music.

New products and trends
It was very apparent at ISM: Regarding their sweets and snacks more and more consumers are placing importance on healthy and natural ingredients. Plant-based products and ingredients are still booming, which is reflected at ISM by creative ideas for enriching foodstuffs with fibres. The focus is being placed more and more on exotic aromas. New flavours like Smoky Tandoori, Bloody Mary or Mussels in White Wine are to increasingly conquer the market.

ISM in figures
1,274 suppliers from 71 countries took part in ISM 2023, 88 percent of whom came from abroad. They included 153 German exhibitors and 1,121 exhibitors from abroad. More than 25,000 trade visitors from 135 countries attended ISM 2023, the foreign share was 72 percent.

The next ISM is scheduled to take place from 28 to 31 January 2024.


Press Release


Cologne, March 2023

Consumer and product trends, innovations, start-up pitches, industry talks and, for the first time, Lab5 by ISM are part of the diverse range of events on site.

The preparations are in full swing: ISM and ProSweets Cologne – Special Edition are jointly opening their doors from 23 to 25 April and are thus bringing the international sweets and snacks industry together again. At present, around 1,200 exhibitors from 72 countries and all continents are awaited.

With this year’s key theme “Encourage. Enable. Excite!“, ISM is addressing the challenges in the sections climate, raw materials, energy, supply chains, logistics, health and digitalisation as well as the related opportunities for the industry. “Thus, at ISM we can jointly search for efficient solutions and discuss new opportunities for a wide range of challenges. In addition, we offer the industry the ideal exchange platform to find out about current developments and trends,” emphasised Sabine Schommer, Director of ISM Cologne.

The new Lab5 by ISM will have a relaxing effect on the hustle and bustle of the trade fair: A location with a diversified design, where the visitors can let themselves be inspired by sweet surprises and delights amid a relaxed atmosphere and nice music.

Lab5 by ISM!
The Lab5 by ISM is the industry’s new “place-to-be”: Located in Hall 5.2, it offers both a feel-good oasis and sufficient room for networking accompanied by relaxing music. The visitors can look forward to a colourful mixture of selected sweets and delights as well as refreshing and hot beverages. The perfect place for a joint toast to an unforgettable trade fair visit.

Expert Stage
The Expert Stage of ISM and ProSweets Cologne – Special Edition is the central point of contact for the latest developments in the sweets and snacks industry. Lectures and discussion panels take place here daily. Furthermore, ideas and solutions to combat the current challenges will be discussed on the Expert Stage. On Sunday, 23 April, the attention is focused on new products like vegetable-based sweets or the consumers’ expectations in sweets as a guideline for product innovations. ISM Monday, 24 April, is dedicated to “new strategies”. Here, the main trends as well as the opportunities and challenges in the global and European snack industry will be presented. Among others, Marilyn Repp, deputy managing director of HDE, will show best-practice examples from the retail sector in her presentation “Metaverse and Web3”.

Tuesday revolves around “new technologies” and, together with ProSweets Cologne – Special Edition, focuses on the topics of sustainability, supply chain transparency, safety and energy supply. In addition, there will be daily “Guided Tours” by the DLG under the heading “Raw materials for the sensory wow effect”. At the end of the fair, a happy hour awaits visitors from 6 p.m. as part of the supplier fair. “The event programme of ProSweets Cologne 2023 – Special Edition also benefits from the close integration with ISM in terms of space and content. Exhibitors as well as visitors will find here the optimal platform for promoting industry-oriented dialogue and professional exchange. Whether packaging, ingredients or innovations in production and technology, this year’s edition offers trade visitors the full spectrum of topics relating to the supplier industry,” explains Guido Hentschke, Director ProSweets Cologne.

In addition, daily trend presentations will be held by ISM Knowledge Partner Innova Market Insights as part of the Expert Stage. Euromonitor, a long-standing partner of ISM, will also present the impact of inflation on the confectionery and snacks market in Europe under the title “Inflation Surge and its Impact on Snacks”.
Further detailed information on all lectures can be found in our event database: Discover the ISM Events

Start-up area
In the Start-up Area, companies that have not existed for more than five years will exhibit their products and concepts under one roof at ISM. The entire Start-up Area is located in the Lab5 by ISM in Hall 5.2.

New: Specialised trade section “Finest Creations – hand-crafted”
For the second time, there is going to be a specialised trade section entitled “Finest Creations – hand-crafted” that focuses on the small volume business with sweets and snacks. This exhibition section unites craft businesses, whose visitor target group comprises of confectioners, cake shops and specialised sweet shops. The new exhibition section will also be located in Hall 5.2.

New Product Showcase
The New Product Showcase has established itself at ISM as an appealing attraction and as the key location for innovations. The trade visitors can examine the new products of 2023 in the many display windows of the special “New Product Showcase” exhibition in the Hall 5.2. In addition, the three most innovative products of ISM 2023 that were distinguished during the ISM Night will be presented here. The top innovations were selected by an independent jury of experts from the industry, trade and field of science.

Consumer Award
For the first time, the ISM Consumer Award 2023 will be presented on the last day of the fair. The most popular product will be determined from all the products submitted for the New Product Showcase in a consumer vote.

ISM Award
The ISM Award is being conferred for the ninth time this year. The award for outstanding services to the sweets and snacks industry will be presented at the gala evening on 23 April 2023.

Halal Market
Halal is a forward-looking trend in the German and European retail trade. This year, the international trade fair for confectionery and snacks is once again dedicated to this topic and offers an overview of the global halal confectionery and snack segment at a new position in the passage between Halls 10 and 11 in the Halal Market.


Press Release


Cologne, November 2022

A joint event and congress programme with the special edition of the supplier trade fair ProSweets Cologne, taking place parallel, promotes exchange aimed at new solutions

The sweets and snacks industry, like many other industries, is facing unprecedented challenges. Alongside the ongoing effects of the corona pandemic, the central problems are above all the Ukrainian war and the related volatile markets, increases in the prices of energy and raw materials, as well as disrupted supply chains. However, ongoing themes revolving around digitalisation at the POS, as well as the sustainability, transparency and origins of products and ingredients still continue to play a central role. Resilience and the sustainable, resource-saving production of sweets and snacks is called for more than ever.

In its role as the leading international trade fair for the sweets and snacks industry, the ISM engages actively in these market events, thus shifting the focus in the coming year more to important content and discussions revolving around these challenges with the main theme of “ISM – Encourage.Enable.Excite!“.

“Under the flag of our new key theme, in addition to the classic product presentations, we will be relying increasingly on an exchange and discussions at ISM 2023. It is important to us in these times that the industry allow more space for its innovative solutions and new approaches, and promote the opportunity for exchanging experiences in the scope of event and networking formats”, explains Sabine Schommer, Director ISM.

The first highlights of the event and congress programme, being planned together with ProSweets Cologne 2023 – Special Edition taking place parallel, have already been set. Thus, for example, Euromonitor, the partner of both trade fairs of many years, will discuss the effects of inflation on the sweets and snacks market in Europe under the title “Inflation Surge and its Impact on Snacks”. The industry sponsor of ProSweets Cologne, DLG, will also discuss approaches to solutions for the global procurement of raw materials and energy efficiency in sweets production on the Expert Stage.

In addition to this, the networking format #CONNECT2030 will continue on the trade fair Monday, 23 April 2023 on the Expert Stage. Here, representatives from production and packaging, as well as from industry and trade will dedicate themselves in particular to the impact of the energy crisis and the lack of raw materials in the sweets industry. The event will then offer all participants and speakers the possibility to exchange ideas with the industry pros and to establish new business contacts along the entire value creation chain under the motto “Meet the Speakers”.


Press Release


Cologne, 10th June 2022 

Koelnmesse is thus following the wishes of the confectionery and snacks industry – duration will be shortened from four to three days for 2023 – ProSweets Cologne is examining possibilities for implementation in April

In consultation with the conceptual sponsors of ISM and decision-makers in the industry, Koelnmesse has decided to postpone next year’s ISM International Sweets and Biscuits Fair from the end of January to the new date of 23 to 25 April 2023, on a one-off basis. In doing so, Koelnmesse is taking into account the wishes of ISM’s sponsoring associations. The entire confectionery industry is currently facing extreme challenges with dramatic cost explosions for raw materials, energy and logistics as well as an almost incalculable consumer behavior, according to the associations. The industry now hopes that the difficult situation will calm down again and that there could then be significantly better planning certainty at the later trade show date in April 2023.

The one-time postponement will also shorten the duration of the world’s largest trade fair for confectionery and snacks by one day for the 2023 edition. ProSweets Cologne, which is normally held in parallel, is examining the possibilities for implementation in April in consultation with the trade fair’s sponsors and will announce further details on this in due course.

“With the one-time date shift, we are meeting the wishes of the confectionery and snack industry and thus ensuring the greatest possible business opportunities for all companies and visitors involved. It is important to us to provide a fully comprehensive overview of the global market for the confectionery and snack industry and to ensure the usual high quality of exhibiting companies and international participating trade visitors,” explains Gerald Böse, Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH.

Preparations for the event in April are already in full swing in order to provide all participants with maximum planning security and an optimum schedule for ISM 2023.

The next ISM is scheduled to take place from 23 to 25 April 2023.


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