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Cologne: Sweets Do Not Equal Sweets

Germany is both a giant market for sweets and snacks and a big sweets producer. At the upcoming ISM Sweets trade fair in Cologne, the entire world will be showing off its sweets.

The average German is definitely a sweet tooth and a cookie monster. More than 6 kilos (14 pounds) of cookies per inhabitant are being sold in this country every year. Statistically, every German consumes 30 kilos (66 pounds) of sweets per year, a value of 164 Euro (183 U.S. Dollars or 140 Pounds Sterling).

Eight Sweets Segments

Chocolate is the favorite snack in Germany. More than 26 million citizens consume Milka chocolate. The market for chocolate bars is gigantic too. There are Mars, Milky Way, Twix, Hanuta and many other brands. Duplo, one of the oldest German chocolate bar brands, is the market leader.

Sweets can be nice to look at. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

But there are many more kinds of sweets. All of them will be showcased at the world’s largest sweets and snacks trade fair ISM in Cologne early next month. It is the 50th time the fair takes place. In eight segments, it will present what the world of sweets and snacks has to offer:

  • Chocolate and products based on it
  • Confectioneries
  • Pastries
  • Snacks
  • Trend snacks
  • Natural snacks
  • Ice cream and frozen sweets
  • Breakfast snacks

Sweet and More Healthy

The ISM trade fair does not intend to present the same old snacks every time. So it highlights new trends. As it turns out, snacks do not necessarily equal snacks. Today’s sweets and snacks tend to become more healthy and more diverse. The trend snacks part contains interesting categories.

Those include meat snacks, fish snacks and other hearty snacks. Also there are what the ISM calls “vegan trend products”, dried fruit and vegetables, fruit, veggie and nut bars, fruit and vegetable puree, crackers based on fruit and veggies, fruit with chocolate, smoothies, energy and sports bars and energy snacks. This kind of assortment could already fill several fair halls.

Most sweets are still sweet. They make consumers happy and their dentists rich. But more and more consumers are becoming aware of what sugar and other ingredients do to them. They want more natural products. At the same time they insists on a sweet and attractive taste. This is where ‘trend snacks’ and natural snacks come in.

Box of Chocolates

But traditionalists, those who insist on sticking to their daily ration of chocolate, will not be disappointed either. As many as 1661 exhibitors from 76 countries are expected at the ISM in Cologne. They will show visitors what chocolate is all about. Even this segment includes new trends such as vegan chocolate.

Did anyone say “chocolate”? Photo by ISM

Those who want to see chocolate Santas, a month after Christmas, or chocolate Easter bunnies, will be at the right place too. So will those who know that life is like a box of chocolates. At this trade fair in Cologne, you actually never know what you are going to get.

It all began in 1971, when the sweets and snacks market was a lot smaller. Since, the number of exhibitors and visitors has grown substantially. The ISM will take place from February 2nd to 5th, 2020, at Cologne Trade Fair (‘Kölnmesse’). It’s slogan is “The future and heart of sweets and snacks.” The official ISM website can be accessed here. Tickets can be purchased on this page.

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