ISM: 02.–05.02.2025 #ISMCOLOGNE

EN Icon Pfeil Icon Pfeil
EN Element 13300 Element 12300 DE

50. ISM: Exhibitors tell us their storys – Part 1

20 Jan 2020

It is half a century ago since the trade fair transformed Cologne into a paradise for sweets fans for the first time: The premiere of ISM Cologne took place in 1971 as a spin-off of Anuga and was at the time the first international platform for the presentation of sweets.

Other "premieres" from the year 1971 clearly underline how different the times were 50 years ago:

  • Unmarried, female employees were to be addressed henceforth as Mrs instead of "Miss".
  • In Munich, the first German branch of the fast food chain, McDonalds, opened and the underground service started operating in the Bavarian capital.
  • Mangos and kiwis were presented to the European consumers for the first time at a further trade fair in Cologne, the General Food and Luxury Exhibition (more familiarly known as Anuga).

Coppenrath Feingebäck, ISM 1971

Coppenrath Feingebäck, ISM Cologne 1971 - Copyrights: Koelnmesse GmbH

50th anniversary: Jubilarians report about their first trade fair appearances at ISM

A lot has happened over the past five decades, also at ISM Cologne. On the other hand, some things haven't or have hardly changed. The 28 companies that have been exhibiting at the leading global trade fair for sweets and snacks from the very start in 1971 and who are still present at the trade fair today have witnessed this.

A significant difference for many seems to lie in the actual trade fair presence in general and in particular in the stand construction. "The stands are much more elaborately designed today and it has got much bigger overall. But otherwise not that much has changed, because the basic idea of presenting one's company and its products in public at the trade fair is still the same today as it was 50 years ago," Coppenrath Feingebäck GmbH summed up. The company is grateful to ISM Cologne for a special kind of competence it possesses: "Since we have always designed the exhibition stand ourselves and assembled it together with our own employees, we could almost claim to be professional exhibition stand builders. This know-how has also helped with other trade fair appearances."

And Claus Cersovsky, Managing Partner of Rübezahl Schokoladen and of the Rübezahl-Riegelein Group, who was just six years old in 1971, recalls: "Whereas most of the first exhibition stands were self-built and of a purely temporary nature, today they tend to be extremely elaborate constructions. In the early years, my father and mother drove to Cologne in a transit van, inside which the entire exhibition stand, all of the trade fair utensils and the product samples fitted. They tinkered around with hammers and screws the whole night until the exhibition stand was ready."

Coppenrath Feingebäck, ISM 2019

Coppenrath Feingebäck, ISM Cologne 2019 - Copyrights: Koelnmesse GmbH, Thomas Klerx

ISM asserts itself as an international trade fair for sweets and snacks

What already attracted these exhibitors to the city on the Rhine back then? The Sales Manager, Susanne Mertens, Klett Schokolade GmbH & Co. KG, summed it up a nutshell: "ISM was at the time the first international sweets trade fair" - and thus in those day the only opportunity of presenting one's product to a wider audience. Hüseyin Alkan, Executive Director of Frankonia Schokoladenwerke GmbH, added: "ISM was and still is one of the few opportunities to present products to a trade audience and meet up with export customers." Claus Cersovsky underlined the fact that time was money already 50 years ago: "As a still fairly small manufacturer of seasonal items back then, one was able to present one's products to the entire trade at one location and a specified point of time. That saved time because one didn't have to visit each customer separately."

Leading global trade fair for sweets and snacks – a marketplace for innovations

Frigeo looks back on an even longer history than ISM Cologne with its Ahoj-Brause sherbet. The fizzy sherbet with its almost iconic packing and the "sailor with the flag has existed since 1925 and it has been a loyal participant at the sweets trade fair for 50 years ," is how Frederic Drüing, Brand Manager at Ahoj-Brause, put it. The reason: "As the largest sweets trade fair, ISM is without doubt THE market of the innovations and trends in our industry. From a professional point of view, the absolute highlight of the year!"

It only remains to say THANK YOU for so much praise and loyalty!