Gama spoke to Anne Schumacher, Vice President Food & Food Technology of Koelnmesse GmbH, ahead of the 50th anniversary edition of ISM.
What are your expectations for this 50th edition of ISM?
Of course, we are looking forward to a great event. ISM is again very well positioned this year. With more than 1,750 exhibitors from 76 countries, we were able to increase the number of exhibitors in our anniversary year by 5% compared to last year: an excellent result for a consumer goods fair. We are also pleased to see previous exhibitors return and welcome new ones. Thus growth, especially from abroad, once again underlines the international status of ISM as the world’s leading trade fair for confectionery and snacks. In addition to the pure product show, ISM will once again provide a new impulse for the industry with its extensive programme of events on current trends and innovations. For the first time this year, we will be offering a new congress format “CONNECT2030 – The Future Summit for Sweets and Snacks”, which deals exclusively with future-oriented topics in the confectionery and snack industry. The 50th edition of ISM will therefore not only take a look at history and current developments in the industry but will also focus even more strongly on the future of sweets and snacks. As a result, we hope to achieve a similarly positive result with respect to the number of visitors as we have with the number of exhibitors.
What should manufacturers and retailers do to be successful in the current economic climate?
No other product is as close to the consumer as food. Customer focus is therefore imperative for producers on every continent of the globe. Sweets and snacks must adapt to the various and changing needs of consumers. This is particularly clear with products that have been established successfully worldwide: appearance, flavour, portion size etc. vary from market to market and preference to preference. And of course, it becomes even more challenging because customers’ demands regarding sweets and snacks are becoming more and more diverse. So, in order to stay successful, manufacturers should constantly monitor the market and gain an understanding of trends that will have an impact and that are most likely to stay. In doing so, for sweets and snacks producers around the world, access to new markets promises continuous potential for development and value creation.
What key trends do you expect to shape sweets & snacks innovation in 2020?
Individuality continues to play a major role. Conscious enjoyment, authentic products, sustainability, but also “joie de vivre” and the mixing of different trends and needs according to occasion or season are of central importance. Many established trends such as organic, vegan, vegetarian, reduced fat and sugar, and gluten and lactose-free will continue. In addition, there are more balanced and natural product variations, because consumers expect functional added-value as well as great taste. Ingredients such as flavours and food colourings are increasingly of natural origin. And I’m sure digitalisation and sustainability will play an important role in the future. Production processes will become more digital, and the traceability of products is a decisive factor, so artificial intelligence may well help to overcome current challenges. With respect to sustainability, ingredient origin and packaging solutions will become more climate-friendly.
ISM is the world’s largest trade fair for sweets and snacks. A successful combination between impulses and innovations, exciting networking, first-class exhibitors and competent visitors forms an offer that is unique around the globe. Here, you also find the world’s largest offer of private label in sweets & snacks.
Heart and soul: In conjunction with ProSweets Cologne, the international supplier trade fair for the sweets and snacks industry, ISM represents the entire industrial value chain.