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ISM and ProSweets gear up for in-person return
The Cologne cathedral

ISM and ProSweets Cologne are preparing for in-person exhibitions from January 30 to February 2, as organizers note that all signs point to a restart of on-location events. Next year, the fairs will focus on the topic of sustainable packaging for the sweets and snacks industry.

At ISM 2022, visitors will have a choice of new products from exhibitors from more than 60 countries. From small and medium-sized manufacturers to market-leading companies, exhibitors are bringing their latest in Cologne at the beginning of the year. The fair will host 27 group pavilions from 22 countries and regions. The Trend Snack Area will provide a comprehensive look at alternative snacking offers and the new specialist retail area ‘Finest Creations – hand-crafted’ will make its debut in 2022.

The ISM Ticket Shop will open at the end of October. Tickets can only be booked online and will and will not be available at the box office, the organizer announced. Access to the fair will be granted to vaccinated, recovered and tested persons only.

Sustainable packaging

ISM will meet the industry’s interest for eco-friendly packaging materials and related processes, highlighting innovations in both areas. Recycling-friendly designs will become of key importance in the advertising and communications segment once the EU’s ‘Green Deal’ comes into force, ProSweets anticipates, as the fair prepares to reflect this trend. A survey carried out in March on behalf of the German Packaging Institute (dvi) shows that sustainable packaging is important throughout the sweets and snacks industry: consumers in Germany consider packaging to be more sustainable than ever, with 44% claiming that packaging had progressed considerably in terms of its environmental-friendliness.

Packaging is becoming more sustainable while at the same time fulfilling its purpose more efficiently. It is hygienic, protects the goods from damage and perishing, makes them last longer, transportable and safe to use

Kim Cheng, executive director, dvi


The ‘3R principle’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – are at the foundation of strategies used in the industry, which is shown in the latest advancements regarding materials as well as their implementation and intelligent designs for recycling. The Executive Director of dvi, Kim Cheng, emphasized that the core function of the packaging has not been neglected, while it now considers the care for the environment in its new concepts. “Packaging is becoming more sustainable while at the same time fulfilling its purpose more efficiently. It is hygienic, protects the goods from damage and perishing, makes them last longer, transportable and safe to use,” Cheng stated in a press announcement. For companies exhibiting in Cologne, it is decisive whether and how the change-over to sustainable packing materials can be realized without compromising the functionality and convenience, the fair organizers weigh in.

Paper or cardboard is being implemented instead of plastic wherever possible. Innovative solutions in this regard help with integrated hot sealing and moisture barriers against steam. At the same time, they comprise upwards of 95% of renewable materials. “What was still inconceivable for the most suppliers a few years ago, has developed much further in the meantime because more and more fiber-based packing alternatives with barrier functions are replacing plastics,” Peter Désilets, executive director of Pacoon GmbH, said. With his reusable concept for crisps, Désilets and the Pacoon team want to open up the discussion and demonstrate at ProSweets Cologne that a “solution has to rethink more than just the packaging itself.” The Sustainable Packing Institute SPI for the Life Science Industry of the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University will also be part of the Packaging Special Event of ProSweets Cologne. The SPI primarily occupies itself with biogenic resources, functional materials, smart packaging, bio-economy and sustainability, according to Koelnmesse.

The portfolio of the exhibitors at ProSweets Cologne includes machines from case packers, to pick-and-place lines, through to tubular bag machines. In many of the presented packaging lines for sweets and snacks, both plastic, as well as carton packaging, can in the meantime be processed.