Gama spoke to Sabine Schommer, Director of ISM, following the latest edition of the confectionery and snacks tradeshow.
How would you sum up this year’s ISM?
We set high expectations for ourselves at this year’s ISM, and I’m pleased to say that those expectations were met. Following the one-time postponement of ISM in 2023, this year saw 1,427 companies from 74 countries—12% more exhibitors than last year—showcasing the latest trends and products, marking a significant success. Additionally, over 30,000 trade visitors—a 20% increase from 2023—journeyed from more than 140 countries to Cologne to partake in this distinctive event, marking yet another triumph. Moreover, the exhibiting companies praised the high quality of the trade audience.
What key opportunities (and challenges) await the confectionery, bakery and snacks sectors in 2024?
The prevailing challenges of 2024, including rising prices of raw materials and energy, alongside concerns regarding sustainability and climate protection, remain at the forefront. However, ISM showcased a notable shift: companies are viewing these challenges as opportunities and are prepared to invest in innovative, sustainable alternatives. This evolving mindset presents a crucial opportunity for startups and creative individuals, exemplified by the inspiring initiatives witnessed at ISM 2024. Such instances underscore how the trade fair significantly contributes to fostering dialogue and advancing solutions.
How is ISM evolving to help the industry meet these challenges and grasp these opportunities?
Especially notable was the ever closer partnership with ProSweets Cologne as part of “Sweet Week”, which once again created a multitude of synergies along the entire value chain. The linking of the two trade fairs not only enabled a more intensive exchange within the industry, but also offered a practical specialist program and new event formats with a focus on innovation and sustainability. The latter is reflected at various levels, from machines and processes to raw material procurement. Joint presentations on the Expert Stage, special shows and guided tours also promoted networking and business potential among the participants.
ISM, as the international marketplace number one for the confectionery and snack industry, uniquely showcases the global offering of confectionery and snacks.
The sweetest event of the year gathers the “Who is Who” of the industry and fully delivers on its promise as an innovation and trend platform. Here, the key confectionery and snack exporters from around the world come together to explore the latest developments and discover new business opportunities.