ISM, the premier international exhibition which specialises in sweet, chocolate, biscuits and savoury snacks and attracts 28,000 international visitors trading in confectionery, has over seventy British companies exhibiting on the British Pavilion, hosted by Food from Britain (FFB), between 28 January to 31 February 2001, in Cologne. Not only does this make ISM one of the key international exhibitions for UK companies this year, the size of the group at the show also makes the British Pavilion one of the largest international groups at the show.

The size of the British presence at ISM is testament to the importance of international business to British confectioners. Currently UK confectionery exports are worth £473 million, which places the sector as one of the most successful exports after whisky. The entire world confectionery market is worth over £60 billion, with imports of sugar and chocolate confectionery amounting to more than £5 billion. UK exporters have a 12% share of this market, with sales to the non-EU markets proportionately more significant to those in EU member states, which account for over 61% of all UK food and drink exports.

This global appeal is largely the result of the dynamic nature of the UK confectionery sector, which offers a wide range of quality and innovative sugar and chocolate confectionary supported with a flexible customer service dedicated to fulfilling customer’s requirements whatever the market. As a result, UK confectioners supply markets as far flung as Australia, South Africa, Russia, Jordan, Japan and America. Many of the British exhibitors at ISM export to at least five countries with some selling to as many as forty markets across the world.

Exports are mainly divided between children’s and adult gift confectionery, although many British exhibitors at ISM have a range covering both markets. The children’s confectionery on offer at the show include a selection of novelty seasonal gifts and party packs, cartoon character sweets and chocolates, lollipops, chew bars, candy rock sticks and sherbet dippers.

The adult gift range exhibited at the show includes nougat, liquorice, Turkish Delight, lozenges, fudges and toffees, flavoured and liqueured chocolates, truffles, chocolate covered coffee beans and decorative tin confectionery. In addition to the sugar and chocolate confectionery, there is a large range of traditional speciality biscuits, organic biscuits, hand-baked shortbreads and oatcakes, fruitcake and Christmas puddings.

Simon Waring, Marketing and International Management Director, Food from Britain says, “Although the British confectionery industry consists in the main of small to medium sized family businesses spread across the country, they are certainly not parochial in their attitudes to marketing and developing their business. These companies are extremely active exporters, investing considerable energy and resource into developing their international business in this fast moving and competitive sector. ISM provides an unparalleled opportunity for these companies to showcase their products to a trade audience focused entirely on their sector.”

Confectionery companies interested in developing international sales should contact Food from Britain on 020 7233 5111. FFB is able to assist in areas such as market and product sector research, international exhibition support and buyer introductions.