ISM Cologne is the world’s leading trade fair for confectionery and snacks, with 1,774 exhibitors with 87% international exhibitors from and around 37,000 visitors from 148 countries, while ProSweets Cologne is a unique trade fair for the entire industry-specific supply range of the sweets and snacks industry that is held parallel to ISM in another Hall. The range extends from raw materials and ingredients specifically required for confectionery and savoury snack production, process and packaging technology, and confectionery and savoury snack packaging.
A few weeks ago, Koelnmesse, the top associations of the German sweets and snacks industry as well as important industry representatives were confident that they would be able to host both ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2021.
However, due to the continuously growing number of infections and the related lockdowns, as well as the travel restrictions in the international environment are now forcing Koelnmesse to call off the hybrid editions of ISM and ProSweets Cologne that was originally planned from 31.01.-03.02.2021.
Koelnmesse has taken this decision in close collaboration with the industry sponsors of both trade fairs. “We deeply regret this of course. We were well-aligned and we firmly believed that we would be able to enable the sweets and snacks industry a re-start with ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2021,” explained Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse. “However, due to the current uncertainties our exhibitors and visitors don’t see any dramatic improvement that would make a trade fair participation possible in January. We will nevertheless remain on the ball and will immediately set about organising ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2022 with new energy,” Böse added.
The planned digital format, Matchmaking365+, will also not be implemented, as they believe that a purely digital offer without a physical trade fair would not bring about the desired benefit for the exhibitors and visitors. In their role as important innovation platforms for the industry, the two trade fairs are instead planning a campaign for the presentation of significant industry developments, new products and trends from the sweets and snacks sectors.
“Trade fairs like ISM and ProSweets Cologne live from the variety of national and international industry experts, which is in turn what distinguishes the quality of the event. Due to the currently very dynamic infection situation and further cancellations on behalf of the exhibitors, we can no longer guarantee this quality and the recently announced steady number of registrations could no longer be held upright. We are naturally disappointed. However, it is now important to look ahead to the future positively with our customers. We in Cologne are still prepared to carry out our trade fairs with the highest safety and hygiene measures and are already looking forward to a new edition of ISM and ProSweets Cologne,” stressed Oliver Freser, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse.
The International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM) as the industry sponsor of ISM also deeply regrets this decision: “The sweets and snacks industry was optimistic that it would be able to really take off again with the aid of ISM 2021. As an international business platform, ISM has an essential significance for the industry regarding pushing business forward. However, due to the ongoing high numbers of infections and further lockdowns in many European countries, this decision was unfortunately unavoidable,” explained Bastian Fassin, Chairman of the AISM.
The planning for the events in 2022 has already started. Together with the industry sponsors, Koelnmesse will use the time to ensure that ISM and ProSweets continue to be well-aligned in terms of their concept. This includes the further development of digital formats, which offer a suitable enhancement to the physical trade fair. The next editions of ISM and ProSweets Cologne will be staged from 30th January to 2nd February 2022.
by Abul Fazal,