Over 21,000 trade visitors attended this year’s ProSweets Cologne, the international supplier fair for the sweets and snacks industry, a new record attendance at the show.
Held in conjunction with ISM, the leading trade fair for sweets and snacks, ProSweets’ largest element is traditionally the machines and equipment section and this was also the case at this year’s show, as over 300 exhibitors showcased their solutions for the sweets and snacks industry.
The production of tailored shapes and packaging is particularly important within the sweets and snacks industry, and this was reflected by the range of equipment at the show. Visitors were able to observe the production of attention-grabbing labels and packaging, the latest hot sealing technologies and discover a range of biodegradable packing materials.
One of the main themes at this year’s ProSweets Cologne was the digital networking of systems, and how this is improving efficiency, hygiene and operating costs. Confectionery machines equipped with technology such as sensors provide substantial amounts of data to operators – data which can help operators save resources, time and money.
Beyond machinery, the key themes for this year’s show included the reduction of sugar, fat and salt; the increased importance of clean label and natural ingredients; as well as the need to tailor and reformulate recipes to cater to the needs of vegetarian and vegan consumers.
A number of talks, tours and presentations attracted large audiences as expert speakers addressed topics such as sustainable packaging, reformulation and the possibilities offered by augmented and virtual reality.
Trade visitors were able to learn how to create brands with the help of augmented reality and create new, extended product experiences for consumers. The capabilities of virtual reality were also showcased through the example of a virtual supermarket.
Anne Schumacher, nutrition and nutrition technology vice-president at Koelnmesse, said: “For the suppliers of the sweets industry, ProSweets Cologne is the central, international business platform.
“With new customising technologies, innovative and sustainable packing solutions as well as new developments regarding digital networking in the production sector, the industry demonstrated that it is on the pulse of time.
“The trade’s interest in the fair has also significantly increased. The value chain is growing more closely together as a result. The interplay ISM and ProSweets Cologne is a unique constellation and offers incomparable synergies.”
Meanwhile at ISM, a wide range of finished products were on show, with many brands and manufacturers expressing that the consumer desire for healthy and sustainably-sourced products was a primary concern.
Over 1,650 suppliers from 76 countries, 87% of which came from outside Germany, exhibited their latest products and innovations at this year’s show.
Ruby chocolate – the fourth type of chocolate after milk, dark and white – was one of the main attractions at ISM. Chocolatier Barry Callebaut, the developer of the chocolate, devoted its stand to the flavour and received a great deal of interest from visitors, while chocolate brands including Libeert, Heilemann and Witor’s showcased ruby chocolate products at the show.
Meanwhile, products made with vegetable-based proteins, natural ingredients and sustainably-grown raw materials were among the most important offerings on show at the fair.
Gerald Böse, president and CEO of Koelnmesse, said: “Once again in these difficult times, ISM confirmed its international standing as the industry’s most important business platform once again in 2019.
“Not only do the stable, high-key figures corroborate this, but also the high level of quality of the exhibitors and visitors.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019