What’s New in Confectionery and Snacks
ISM Cologne is widely regarded as the most important trade fair in the world for confectionery and snacks and this year’s show has just taken place, in conjunction with ProSweets Cologne. The huge popularity of ISM is reflected in the official attendance statistics released by the organisers: 37,500 trade visitors from 144 countries and 1,656 exhibitors from 73 countries. Bastian Fassin, Chairman of the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM), commented, “The fact that all of the important distributors from home and abroad were present, demonstrates the huge appeal of the trade fair, but also that of the extremely innovative industry. International trade relations are indispensable for most of the companies.”
As Retail Food and Drink Manager of KLBD, Sharon Feldman-Vazan also attended the fair and understood from various exhibitors that ‘people this year were really looking to buy’, even if it was quieter than last year with less halls open. Sharon also commented, ‘ISM Cologne is always a friendly show, comfortable to walk and well organised’. A noticeable trend she picked up on was the ‘big and bold’ labelling of ‘VEGAN’ on products, and even if these products were available before, they now are displayed far more prominently on packaging.
Sustainability continues to be a significant theme. More and more companies are committed to sourcing natural ingredients and ingredients from renewable sources. Katjes Fassin have taken sustainability one step further by creating their stand at ISM out of 600 re-usable Euro-pallets.
Several KLBD companies were exhibiting at ISM Cologne, including Pasta Foods, Eat Real, Seed & Bean, Nak’d, Royal Family Mochi and newly certified MP KSS from Moldova. Pasta Foods specialise in the production of extruded pellets for snack manufacturing and, as one of the major dry pasta producers in Europe, work closely with clients on their new product development to respond quickly to market demands and new trends.
KLBD parev certified products produced by Eat Real include White Cheddar and Jalapeno Cheddar Quinoa and Kale Puffs. The commitment of Eat Real is to create innovative products that are an enjoyable, healthy alternative to traditional snack and confectionery items and form just part of the delicious snack range they produce at their manufacturing plant in Leicester.
‘Being brave with flavours rarely tasted in confectionery’ is the ethos of The Organic Seed & Bean Company. Founded in 2005, the company’s innovative range of dark chocolate includes such mouth-watering varieties as Coffee Espresso, Orange and Thyme and Just Ginger and it manufactures these delicious products from a bespoke facility in Northamptonshire.
These and other innovative healthy products in the confectionery and snacks market come as a welcome development for consumers, at a time of almost daily newspaper coverage on sugary foods which should be avoided. Only last month, Daily Telegraph Consumer Affairs Editor, Kate Morley, reported that Action on Sugar had called for a total ban on price promotions on confectionery after it found retailers offering bumper ‘sharing packs’ at better value than smaller individual sizes. She went on to say that campaigners have said ‘share bags’ of sweets and chocolates should be banned because children simply eat them all in one go.
On the topic of moderation, Marcia Mogelonsky, Director of Insight at Mintel Food & Drink, expressed her own view that ‘consumers balance portion control with enjoyment. Bites have edged out crisps and thins over the past year in product launches, with a promise of ‘just enough’ chocolate to serve as a reward, a pick-me-up, or a treat’. A survey conducted on chewing gum habits provided the surprising result that 28% UK consumers would try a chewing gum with ingredients such as chamomile if it helped them fall asleep.
As a renowned commentator on the confectionery sector, Marcia was invited to participate in a panel discussion at Pro Sweets entitled ‘The Power of Plants in Snacks and Confectionery’. The panel discussion provided further evidence of the shift towards plant based eating and Marcia commented, ‘ In chocolate, the trend is manifesting itself in the growth of non-dairy milk chocolate, while in sugar confectionery vegetable based gelatine and other non-meat sourced ingredients are being used for flavour, colour and texture’.
The taste and nutritious benefits of snacks and confectionery will not be the only considerations for consumers loading their trolleys. Marcia also reports that confectionery companies are ‘pushing the boundaries of 3D printing’, with personalised 3D printed chocolate bars being produced at Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania. Similarly, collaboration is already under way in Europe to create 3D printed Belgian chocolates, with measures being put in place to ensure that the technology of the future also protects the taste and reputation of much-loved and familiar chocolate brands.