France is the partner country at ISM 201601-02-2016
This year’s international trade fair for sweets and snacks (ISM) opens its doors January 31 to February 3 2016. Time to focus on this major event for the many French companies operating in this field.
The ISM – International Sweet and Snack Market – is officially underway. The trade fair reflects the importance and diversity of the confectionery category on a global scale, a sector where France takes pride of place with a rich diversity of quality products, including caramels, lollypops, “dragée” candies, chewing gum, liquorice, marshmallow, candied fruits and fruit bars.France’s confectionery industry produces more than twenty varieties of sweet treats. Overall, France boasts more than six hundred regional specialities, in a market that literally shines through its diversity.
For the companies working in the category, it’s all about innovation. 13 new French products are on display in the “New Product Showcase” hall. Exhibitors represent the latest trends in sweet treats, including handy pocket formats, DIY home baking products, breakfast biscuit bars and individually wrapped cake slices. “The key to success in export markets is a company’s ability to review its range of traditional products and recipes in order to tailor its offer to the tastes and customs of local consumers in key markets. French traditional Calissons for example, now come in a range of exciting flavours including lemon chocolate, chocolate hazelnut, raspberry and green tea”, points out Nelly Bonnet, Alliance 7.
ISM 2016 flies the French flag
With more than 1,500 exhibitors from around 70 countries, ISM is the world’s largest and most important trade fair for sweets and snacks. It offers a unique platform for industry professionals to discover the sector’s latest trends and the most recent product launches and innovations.
This year, supported by Alliance 7, France’s Ministry of Agriculture, France Agrimer and in collaboration with Sopexa, France is the partner country at ISM. 100 French producers are in force in Cologne showing an extensive range of products. 81 of these are exhibiting under the auspices of the French Pavilion, a generic stand spanning some 1,070 m2. The French confectionery sector boasts more than 66 types of biscuits and cakes, more than 600 regional sweets and confectionery goods and an extensive range of chocolate products, not to mention a large selection of honey-based products.
One of the highlights on the stand is the construction of a 2m-high replica Eiffel Tower, made entirely from traditional French biscuits. Visitors can also attend cookery demonstrations to make legendary calissons from Aix en Provence, while the region of Burgundy is showcasing a selection of honey-themed decorative pieces and chocolate producers are sampling their finest products. Finally, a chocolatier is presenting a chocolate fountain and creating sculptures and handcrafted chocolate bonbons. Throughout the duration of the fair, visitors can enjoy a range of new launches and old favourites showcased by French companies producing biscuits and cakes, sweets, chocolate and honey.
French exports on the rise
In 2014, export sales rose to 185 million euros, an uplift of 7.1% on the previous year. A quarter of confectionery produced in France is sold abroad. With 7,029 tonnes of imports, Germany is France’s leading client, followed by Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK.
Outside of Europe, the United States, Switzerland, Norway and Japan are France’s leading consumers. « French products have an excellent image in international markets » confirms Nelly Bonnet.