The ISM is always worth a visit, especially if you are a confectionery buyer or you like sugar! There is a grand diversity of all things sweet at the show.
ISM is mainly a finished product confectionery show: 90% of the exhibitors were offering packaged or finished product to retailers and foodservice.
The show comprised 8 of the Cologne Messe halls. The show was slightly smaller than 2015 and 2016. One of the 8 halls was carefully configured to mask some empty spaces in and around the exhibition area.
The show had an international flavour featuring a pavilion for all large European countries. Other pavilions included China, the US and Turkey.
The US National Confectioners Association was the driving force behind putting together the US Pavilion in Hall 11.2 The pavilion comprised roughly 30 exhibitors, including the California Raisin Marketing Board.
The show incorporated a confectionery ingredients section somewhat hidden in a mainly machinery hall (11.1). The California Walnut Commission had a good looking stand within this section. When asked whether they thought it would be appropriate for individual walnut producers to exhibit at this show, they responded that their presence was valuable because it was chance to distribute shipper details and raise awareness, but an individual processor would struggle with sufficient leads.
There was a coffee section in Hall 5.2 comprised of a 3-4 coffee bars and roughly 40 exhibitors. Excellent coffee for weary people walking the whole show!