ISM 2018

The world of sweets recently converged on Cologne, Germany for the annual International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM). ISM is the most important international trade fair for the confectionery and snacking industry with approximately 1,640 exhibitors and over 38,000 trade visitors from 130 countries. 12 Irish confectionery and snack companies exhibited at ISM this year.

Current trends for the category as presented by Innova include the following:

1. Mindful Choices – people are seeking better quality ingredients for peace of mind and a healthier lifestyle

2. Lighter Enjoyment – “Thins” are a growing lightness platform, as a small permissible treat.

3. Say It With Colour – the Instagram effect. People are influenced by what they see on social media and vibrant and bright colours have obvious appeal in this category.

4. Beyond the Coffeehouse – coffee and tea is popping up in the confectionery and snack aisles with seemingly endless innovation opportunities particularly in flavour innovation.

5. Dining Out, In – Foodservice is now in the hands of the consumer with young millennials prepared to pay more. In confectionery this manifests itself through premium and artisan variants while snacks focus on chef specials and signature ingredients.

6. Positively Processed – raw and old fashioned processes are finding favour while “sprouted” is a key activation process, also delivering nutrition.

7. From Snacks to Mini-Meals – with people’s cravings increasing as the day (and week) progresses, more wholesome miniatures, minis and bites are becoming prevalent to meet this “snackification” need.

8. Going Full Circle – awareness of plastic and food waste is increasing and packaging with sustainability messages is responding to this.

9. Ocean Garden – everything related to ocean and marine ingredients is gaining traction with sea vegetables in particular enjoying a surge. These ingredients are a great way to add salt and textual variation

10. Bountiful Choice – product branding and presentation which transcends traditional segmentation. Ranges can be expanded with small changes which target niche needs and audiences through packaging and design.