Gama spoke to Dietmar Eiden, Vice President Kolnmesse GmbH, following the latest edition of ISM in Cologne.
How many staff does it take to make ISM possible?
There is a core team of people from different departments who work for ISM year round. When ISM draws nearer more and more people are involved to organise the show itself, the ticketing, the services, security, parking, delivery etc. In the end a relatively large group of people are working directly for the show, supported by hostesses, security personal and others. After the show the “inner circle” starts right away working on the new ISM – there is no real pause.
In your view, what were the key innovation trends to emerge from this year’s show?
ISM again made clear that innovation is the key driver for new business round the world. The apparent trends of ISM 2014 were the growing snacking section – mostly because of the upcoming Football (Soccer) World Championship in Brazil as well as a growing awareness of Sustainability and Social Responsibility. Nuts especially are a big trend, introduced in combination with new flavours like herbs or cappuccino. Small Bites are a big trend with chocolate items as well as with bakery. Healthy attitudes go very well with sweets – new products that help reduce fat and sugar and thus are suitable for a figure-shaping diet.
What should confectionery manufacturers do to be successful in the current economic climate?
The industry is on the whole optimistic although the prices for raw materials (cocoa, nuts, fats and cereals) are extraordinarily high. Export activities are therefore extremely important. Companies have to conquer new markets such as the Middle East, Asia, South America, and Russia.
What are your plans to further develop ISM?
In 2015 ISM will be held again parallel with ProSweets Cologne, the international trade fair for the supply industry of the confectionery business. This trade fair adds very much to the aims of ISM: bringing together the whole industry from the fork to the final product. And we will present the next winner of our newly inaugurated “ISM Lifetime Achievement Award”. ISM will develop smoothly together with the needs of the industry as it always has over the last forty years.