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ISM 2020 proved again that classics never get old
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ISM 2020 proved again that classics never get old

Always a good barometer for the year to come

One of the first international food event of the year is a good old classic called ISM (short for Internationale SüBwarenmesse). I have mentioned it before on these pages: This show is always good to start the year. The thing is that unlike what you might think from its name “International candy show” (roughly translated as my German is a bit rusty), the show is more than just thousands of sweets manufacturers gathered in one place. The exhibitors present sweets obviously, but also chocolate, varied snacks (salted and more), and even drinks with dedicated areas for coffee and tea.  

So, in the category of food-oriented event, it offers a wide scope of products and in that way it’s already a good sample of the food industry. Therefore, when you visit the ISM, you do get a broad view of the food industry, can detect the latest trends and get an accurate state of the market. 


My 20/CENT

In numbers

This year again, the ISM confirmed its international leading position in the sweets industry. 1,774 suppliers from 76 countries took part in the show, as well as around 37,000 trade visitors from 148 countries. 

Happy birthday

Evidently, I should not forget to mention, that this year was a special birthday edition as it was the 50th edition of the event. And good news, the ISM didn’t have a midlife crisis by putting motorcycles shows and hooking up with tradeshows half its age. ISM just stayed true to itself with the good classics: country pavilions (with a big presence of Belgian companies), innovations put in the spotlights thanks to the New Product Showcase, zones dedicated to trends, to startup companies, to halal products …just to name a few of the classic items offered by the organizer. 

For the anniversary edition, there was special section with a bit of history on the event. If like me, you appreciate trade shows and are into advertising nostalgia, this was certainly a place to visit. 

Trends confirmed and new ones spotted

Well I could mention the show was a confirmation of many of the trends that we all know are moving the food industry today: free from foods, local products, substitutes for certain ingredients, … But I noticed mainly four recurrent ideas while browsing the show (and a lot of these were confirmed in the startup zone): 

  • The plant-based craze continues
  • Coco is used in many innovations as an added flavor
  • Manufacturers go for low to zero sugar content
  • And finally, I was quite surprised by the number of products containing marijuana, hemp or other legalized ingredients

Anyway, to conclude, I am not going to go on and on and on and on…. I’ll just summarize by telling you that once again ISM proved that classics never get old. 

Till next time!



PS: As usual, I picked three items that caught my eye and describe them in a next article. Go and check it out. 

PS2: Oh, I also should mention that next year’s ISM will take place from 31 January to 3 February 2021. 

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