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ISM 2016, I am going back.
Saveurs et Métiers 2019

ISM 2016, I am going back.

Because it’s been a while and the participation is interesting

The international fair is positioned as the world's most important professional trade fair for sweets and snacks. Parallel to ISM is also ProSweets Cologne. Together both trade fairs cover the entire value chain in the production of sweets and snacks.

Some key figures for ISM 2016

  • Over 1,500 exhibitors from around 70 countries
  • Prosweets will welcome 300 exhibitors
  • The ISM is occupying Halls 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 11 of the fair grounds in Cologne (it corresponds to a surface area of 110,000 m²)
  • A vast majority of visitors are from abroad (last year 69% out of 37.000 visitors)

A few notes on the participation

Of course I am not going to copy paste the list of exhibitors over here, but I thought it was interesting to point out a few items. It is worth to mention that national and international market leaders are represented as well as smaller and medium-sized companies. Also this year sees some big names return to the fairgrounds. Just to give you a few names or pavilions worth a visit:

  • Returnee exhibitors such as Bahlsen, Baronie and Neuhaus
  • Strong German participation:  (obviously they are playing home, but not sure if they will win on penalty’s): as mentioned, Bahlsen comes back, but also, Hans Riegelein, Haribo, Intersnack, Katjes, Krüger, Kuchenmeister, Lambertz, The Lorenz Bahlsen Snack-World, Niederegger, Ragolds, Ritter, Rübezahl Schokoladen, and many more
  • In the foreign participation, Belgium is always very well represented. Like for the Euro 2016 for which Belgium has a strong football team, at every ISM edition, Belgian exhibitors are present in numbers and in quality.
  • Of course many other countries are also represented. It is interesting to note that this year’s partner country is France (http://20100retail.be/en/articles/129/france-is-the-partner-country-of-ism-2016)

ISM’s main features

  • Theme pavilions: Since 2015, in addition to the traditional product groups sweets and snacks, ISM has also been presenting segments on the themes snacking, to-go offers, breakfast as well as coffee and gourmet products. In order to highlight the offer more clearly, own theme pavilions will be introduced in Hall 5.2 in 2016.  
  • The exhibitor database:  as usual, Koelnmesse has a complete and easy to use exhibitor database available on the ISM website. Users can so easily plan their visit to the trade fair (I always use it, it’s such a gain of time to prepare).
  • Newcomer Area: the newcomer area in Hall 11.1 welcomes young companies that have not exhibited at ISM before.
  • New Product Showcase: The New Product Showcase presents the exhibitors' innovations and new products..
  • ISM Award: pays tribute to exceptional services to the sweets and snacks industry, will be presented for the third time at the ISM.
  • Supporting programme: Several presentations and lectures on the marketing of sweets and snacks will be programmed and visitors will be able to see many at the ‘ISM Stage’ (placed in the passage between Halls 4 and 5). In the same area, Innova Market Insights will also provide detailed information on the current trends of the industry
  • KISD’s Sweet Planet: International students from the KISD (Cologne International School of Design) will present different design ideas again in Passage 4/5


My 20/CENT on ISM

It has been a few times I had to miss ISM (clash of agenda, flu…) but this year I made it a point to visit the show once again.

For those active in the categories of sweets and snacks, the ISM is definitely unmissable. The event welcomes some of the biggest names in the sector, offers visitors and exhibitors the opportunity to discover the latest trends, and the organization is always almost perfect.

Also, what is nice to note for my chauvinistic side is the Belgian presence. It is probably one of the biggest presence (after Germany of course) on the trade fair. So if you are visiting, you have to surely pass by a Belgian booth at some point. I strongly urge you to check my country’s exhibitors.

Finally, as it is an international trade fair early in the year, ISM is a pretty valid and reliable barometer. It can already give you an idea of the atmosphere and expectations for the year ahead.



For those who want to meet me there, I’ll be visiting on Monday 1st of February.


ISM, from 31st Januray till 3rd of February 2016, Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany, http://www.ism-cologne.com

Ism KoelnmesseCologneGermanyBelgiumTrendsInnovationSweetsSnacks