As a result of the growing number of COVID-19 infections, travel restrictions and related lockdowns, it has been announced that both ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2021 will not be going ahead as planned.

Just two weeks ago, Koelnmesse, the top associations of the German sweets and snacks industry as well as important industry representatives were still confident that they would be able to stage the shows.

In a statement put out by the show organisers, it states that Koelnmesse has taken this decision in close collaboration with the industry sponsors of both trade fairs.

Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, said: “We deeply regret this of course. We were well-aligned, and we firmly believed that we would be able to enable the sweets and snacks industry a re-start with ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2021.

“However, due to the current uncertainties our exhibitors and visitors don’t see any dramatic improvement that would make a trade fair participation possible in January. We will nevertheless remain on the ball and will immediately set about organising ISM and ProSweets Cologne 2022 with new energy.”

The planned digital format, Matchmaking365+, will also not be going ahead, because a “purely digital offer without a physical trade fair would not bring about the desired benefit for the exhibitors and visitors”.

Instead, the two trade fairs are planning a campaign for the presentation of significant industry developments, new products and trends from the sweets and snacks sectors.

Oliver Freser, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, commented: “Trade fairs like ISM and ProSweets Cologne live from the variety of national and international industry experts, which is in turn what distinguishes the quality of the event. Due to the currently very dynamic infection situation and further cancellations on behalf of the exhibitors, we can no longer guarantee this quality and the recently announced steady number of registrations could no longer be held upright. We are naturally disappointed.

“However, it is now important to look ahead to the future positively with our customers. We in Cologne are still prepared to carry out our trade fairs with the highest safety and hygiene measures and are already looking forward to a new edition of ISM and ProSweets Cologne.”

The International Sweets and Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM) as the industry sponsor of ISM also deeply regrets this decision.

Bastian Fassin, Chairman of the AISM, explained: “The sweets and snacks industry were optimistic that it would be able to really take off again with the aid of ISM 2021. As an international business platform, ISM has an essential significance for the industry regarding pushing business forward. However, due to the ongoing high numbers of infections and further lockdowns in many European countries, this decision was unfortunately unavoidable,”

The planning for the events in 2022 has already started. The show organisers have stated that together with the industry sponsors, Koelnmesse will use the time to ensure that ISM and ProSweets continue to be well-aligned in terms of their concept. This includes the further development of digital formats, which offer a suitable enhancement to the physical trade fair. The next editions of ISM and ProSweets Cologne will be staged from 30.01.-02.02.2022.