Koelnmesse GmbH and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) are set to stage the 15th edition of ISM Middle East from Nov. 8-10. 

Koelnmesse, an international trade fair and exhibition center in Cologne, Germany, and its global ISM network, aim to take the show, previously known as yummex Middle East, to the next level this year by improving the visitor and exhibitor experience.

As the Middle East and African region develops a fast-growing appetite for confectionery products, shown by a compound annual growth rate of 4.1 percent, the snack product market is expected to reach $43.8 billion by 2026. ISM Middle East will bring together the most innovative and flavorful confectionery and snacks from across the world.

From chocolate, confectionery and desserts, to snack foods, ice cream and date products, visitors will discover the largest variety of sweets and snacks from more than 300 exhibitors, including global brands. More than 40 countries will be represented on the show floor, with participation from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Korea, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, Morocco, Egypt and Turkey, among others.

“ISM Middle East is recognized as the biggest event in the region for the sweets and confectionery industry," said Shibu Thomas, CEO and chief brand architect at Harison Premium Chocolate. "We anticipate high-value networking possibilities with industry experts and visitors. We believe that events of this stature are predominant drivers of successful business relationships."

Providing the perfect platform to network, seal deals and learn about the trends shaping the industry, the event will bring key industry players together under one roof: from retailers, suppliers, distributors and wholesalers to buyers, chocolatiers and pastry chefs.

With a reimagined program set to focus on innovation and new market entrants, the New Product Showcase at ISM Middle East will spotlight new products from across the market. An independent jury of experts will select the top product in four key categories: Best Chocolate Product, Best Hard and Soft Candy Product, Best Bakery Product and Best Snack Product. Meanwhile, industry newcomers such as Chic Kles Gum, Jakemans, Chocolate Island Confectionery LLP, Mega Star, Kaprika, Un Attimo in Forma, Pryncy Teka, Smooze and the Khyati Group will show off their contributions to the region’s growing sweets and snacks scene in the ISM Newcomer Area.

 “ISM Middle East is a very important opportunity for us. As a new company, we want to connect with more and more people and ISM Middle East provides the right platform for that," said Ritvik Sunrani, designated partner at Chocolate Island Confectionery LLP. "The show puts us in direct contact with a huge number of retailers, distributors, F&B suppliers and hospitality chains. Since collaborations are at the core of our model, ISM will help us make connections across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Africa and South Asia. We are very excited to be there and to showcase our product line."

With the Arab world responsible for over 70 percent of global date exports, and the UAE among the largest regional exporters, this year’s Global Date Market 2022 will bring together suppliers of dates and date palm products from across the region, ready to connect with international buyers. As dates continue to rise in popularity with customers and manufacturers — due to their versatility, plant-based and natural sweetening properties — this event is the ideal place for date dealers to connect with global industry stakeholders.

“Under the new name of ISM Middle East, we’re excited to be joining forces with our global partners Koelnmesse and the ISM network to organize this must-attend event in the region once again," said Trixie LohMirmand, executive vice president, events management, Dubai World Trade Centre. "From showcasing the tastiest sweets and snack products to celebrating the most innovative additions to the market, our aim is to bring professionals from across the industry to forge new connections and help take their product ranges to the next level.”

"Koelnmesse's mission is to host first-class trade fair events worldwide," added Denis Steker, senior vice president international at Koelnmesse GmbH. "Our longstanding partnership with the Dubai World Trade Centre, organizer of the largest food fairs in the MENA region, established in 2007, is the perfect cornerstone for this. We are pursuing great ambitions with the integration of ISM Middle East into the ISM network. We are strengthening both the ISM family as the preferred network for the world's leading sweets and snacks industry and Dubai as an important event and trade fair location for the food and beverage export business to the MENA region and Africa."