Blog: Confectioners strike upbeat note at ISM

Michelle Russell | 29 January 2013

For an industry that has confronted significant challenges in the last year, namely rising raw material costs and weak consumer sentiment, I travelled to Cologne's ISM confectionery exhibition this week with trepidation.
2012 wasn't an easy one for the food industry as economic pressures put the squeeze on manufacturers and tight household budgets meant consumers weren't spending or indulging as much, forcing manufacturers to innovate with value propositions in order to boost profits.
With so much to contend with, I was expecting a rather cautious mood to be prevalent. The reality is rather different: I was pleasantly surprised at how ambitious and innovative the global confectionery industry has continued to be, despite the challenges it has faced.
Russia's United Confectioners and the UK's Eat Natural spoke to just-food about their export ambitions, while US giant Hershey told of its overseas ambitions and optimism for the future. Elsewhere, journalists crowded into the press centre to hear Barry Callebaut executives outline the "trends of tomorrow's chocolate market". The confectioner revealed what it believes are six main market trends it is looking to for innovation. Expect more on this in our news pages.
A packed day, but one that wasn't over yet. As the thousands of visitors streamed out of Koelnmesse, I headed to Happy Hour, courtesy of the Brazilian Association of Cacao, Chocolates and Candies Industry stand, where a cheeky cocktail rounded things off perfectly. With a tiring day two over, let us see what day three brings for the global confectionery market.


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