ISM-Köln 2024.

53. ISM Confectionery Fair Cologne 2024


53. ISM Confectionery Fair Cologne 2024

It’s that time again, confectionery manufacturers from around the world have gathered in Cologne for the International
Confectionery Fair in Cologne 2024.

With 1427 exhibitors from 74 countries, 38,000 trade visitors from 140 countries spread over 100,000 square meters,
the fair was once again a resounding success.

Under the theme “Encourage.Enable.Excite!”, exhibitors from around the world come to ISM. From Albania to Cyprus,
from Germany and neighboring countries, but also from regions as far away as Argentina, Australia, Indonesia, Nepal,
or South Africa. Additionally, this year, we welcome companies from Azerbaijan, Estonia, Lebanon, the Philippines,
South Africa, and Cyprus.

International participation enables a global network mixed with companies and professionals from various industries,
offering good prospects for new business partnerships and collaborations for the future. On the visitor side, positive
developments are recorded, with all significant national and international trading houses registered to participate in ISM.
From Bartels-Langnese, Carrefour, Colruyt Group, Coop, Edeka, EI Corte Inglés, Esselunga, Globus, ITM/Intermarché,
John Lewis, Jumbo Supermarkten, Metro, Migros Switzerland, Rewe Group, S Group, Salling Group, Schwarz Group to SPAR,
international, reputable companies from around the world are represented.

Overall, the trend is towards sugar-free and significant sugar reduction. Substitutes such as Xylitol, honey, dates, and simply
the natural products themselves are being used.

It is quite remarkable when you enter the fair and all around you are only candies to admire and, of course, to taste.
The exhibitors bring a lot of creativity to their stands. From graffiti-like wall paintings to oversized cereal bowls with large
plastic cereals, where the customer can take a “milk ball bath” and play with large brown donuts, to a beautiful Trabi,
which was bright red last year and now comes in the checkered anthracite of the Halogen company.

Young ladies in sweet dresses in the truest sense of the word, and also a royal wedding dress made only of “gold balls.”

The Confectioner

Or rather, the sugar artist, the master himself on-site, shows how he makes candy canes, and both children and adults
delight not only in the colors and technique but also in the entertainment provided by the sugar master. The candy canes
and candies can still be eaten and taken away while still warm. The gentleman and master of sugar art are easily recognizable
in his pink jacket, surrounded by a crowd of people gathered around his pink VW bus adorned with beautiful balloons.
A real pleasure for young and old alike, and it’s a lot of fun to twist the sugar into sweet sticks and cut candies yourself.
When I wanted to know how he manages to keep the sugar so malleable for so long, I learned that it’s the heat plate that keeps
the sugar in a workable state.

Another stand seems to have all the variations of marshmallows available on the market. All colors, every imaginable flavor,
and shape adorn this stand, which presents itself as a “corner stand.” A corner stand can be approached and admired from all sides,
making it even more attractive and inviting visitors to linger longer and try the offerings at the stand.
It’s always nice when the visitor has space and can take their time to enjoy the delicacies and creativity.


What’s that? These are “crackers” made from cheese. How does it work? They use a large block of their favorite cheese,
subject it to a finely tuned heating process, let it dry again, and then, in a specific way—which is, of course, a trade secret—
it becomes a deliciously tasting, crispy cheese cracker with various flavors. They taste really delicious and can be enjoyed
plain, with wine, beer, while watching TV, topped with cream cheese, or as a topping on salad.

Gluten-Free – The Foods of Athenry

A family-run business bakes fresh daily in Ireland. The family used to live in County Galway with children aged between
5 and 13. They were already baking back then and had relocated the bakery because the previous landlords didn’t allow a
“home bakery.” They had cows and a lot of work, with John doing the farm work and his wife baking. Agriculture always
presented challenges for the family, and they kept working harder. One day, one of the children fell seriously ill, forcing
the family to rethink. They realized they were spreading themselves too thin instead of doing something right.
The cows were sold, and the bakery was accommodated on the premises. They baked regular wheat products.

But when it turned out that one of the children had a gluten intolerance, the family began to rethink, and so the idea
was born to focus more on allergies and gluten-free products. So far, so good, everyone was excited and hopeful.
It was Paul’s birthday, and the mood was cheerful and lively; the family was happy and making plans until suddenly,
a loud crash was heard, sounding like a car backfiring. When the family looked out the window, they saw their bakery
engulfed in flames. Everything burned, and even 24 hours later, the remains of the bakery were still smoldering and glowing.

This was already the 3rd time the family had been so struck by fate. They had lost everything, were totally broke, both financially
and emotionally. They had to borrow money from friends and acquaintances who trusted them to repay the borrowed money,
just to stay afloat. The business had to be closed for 10 months to be rebuilt. Siobhan, Paul’s wife, was emotionally devastated,
they had lost everything and had to rebuild the bakery, barely managing to scrape by. Eventually, they sold the piece
of land that Paul had been cultivating for so long. The neighbors bought it for a fair price, and the whole family,
along with friends and acquaintances, pitched in to rebuild the bakery.

As Siobhan stood there watching her children, as parents often do, one of the sons said to Paul,
“We’ve rebuilt everything twice already; we can do it a third time!” He had just come home with his diploma
and was full of confidence and energy, giving his parents courage and pitching in to help. They succeeded,
the family regained its footing, opened a new bakery, specialized in gluten-free products, and today, they are one
of the most successful businesses producing and selling gluten-free and delicious products.

Tipsy from the Bag

A young company has made it their mission to offer “tipsiness from the bag.” They offer candies made of gummy
with alcohol. But not just any alcohol, they come in various flavors like cocktails or gin, and more. An original idea,
the taste is great, and after consuming the entire bag, the alcohol content is the same as after enjoying a cocktail.

The world of confectionery is colorful and produces new fascinating variations and innovations every year.

The start-ups at ISM are highly committed and focus on sustainability, less or no sugar, and packaging is also undergoing
significant changes.

ISM is a lot of fun, and that’s why the whole world is a guest here.

Warm regards, Susanne Panhans

Advertising texts, PR features, new product launches, relaunches, etc. – you’ve come to the right place, I’ll take care of it for you.

Texts and images – Copyright by Susanne Panhans

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