yummex Middle East unveiled a new name, ISM Middle East, during the 14th edition of the trade fair, staged Nov. 7-9 in Dubai.

On the first day of the show, organizers Koelnmesse and the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) announced the name change with the Sweets & Biscuits Fair Task Force (AISM). The 2022 edition will officially launch as ISM Middle East.

"With this step we are strengthening the positioning of the event as the industry's leading business platform in the Middle East and North African region,” said Denis Steker, senior v.p. international of Koelnmesse GmbH. “As one of the world's largest sweets events, it thus complements the offer of the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM) in Cologne. As ISM Middle East, it builds on the global reputation of the world's leading trade fair in Cologne even more significantly than before.”

“Our partnership with Koelnmesse is a perfect fit with our mandate to host world-class events that meet and exceed the expectations of the markets they serve,” added Mark Napier, group director portfolio management, DWTC. “ISM is the show of choice for the world’s leading sweets, confectionery and snack industries. Rebranding yummex as ISM Middle East makes it clear the ambitions we have for this show, to grow and scale up for our visitor and exhibitor communities so they enjoy a world class event here in the Middle East.”

This year, more than 230 exhibitors from 37 countries presented their products and services on more exhibition space than at the previous event in 2019, covering a larger area than before the pandemic. More than 9,000 trade visitors scoped out new products and trends in one of the world's largest growth markets.

"We are delighted about the very successful re-start of yummex Middle East at a point in time when we are also present at the Expo 2020 as organizers of the German Pavilion,” said Gerald Böse, president and CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH. “Dubai is keeping a close eye on the business and on the future — a very inspiring interplay.”

Among the top international companies exhibiting were Bakewell Biscuits, Danpak Food Industries, Embare, Felföldi, Madhur Confectioners, Millano, Paletas Mara, Riclan, Roshen, Trolli, Vidal Golosinas and Wawel. Wawel exhibited its new products at a stand measuring 90 square metres. 

“It was a long break in which we didn‘t meet our clients, and now it was a great opportunity to meet with them, to agree some plans, to take some new clients,” said Tetiana Gurnevych, international sales director, Wawel. “So we are optimistic. (…) It is a great potential here in these Arabic countries for development and also we saw that people and other buyers are interested in.” 

Furthermore, yummex Middle East featured 17 regional and international pavilions from Brazil, Bulgaria, France, Greece/Cyprus, Iran, Jordan, Latvia, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, USA/Mexico and Belarus. Nine pavilions were represented at yummex Middle East 2021 for the first time.Five German companies presented their existing and new products for the MENA region at the official German joint stand, which was supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).

yummex Middle East also included the “Sweet Tastes of the World" area and the "Newcomer Area," as well as the Innovation Awards.

The "Sweet Tastes of the World" area featured six live stations with the following themes: Liquid Food, Chocolate and Gelato, Pastry & Kitchen, Sustainable Eating and Gourmet Station. Additionally, master classes with Michelin star chefs, including patissier René Frank, offered interesting insights into the future of sweets. They showed approaches to meeting increased consumer expectations with new ideas and seizing opportunities for further development in a targeted manner.

The Newcomer Area was already fully-booked shortly after being announced. Seven exhibitors presented at yummex Middle East their existing and new products.

7th yummex Middle East Innovation Awards

An independent, specialized jury assessed the numerous entries and selected winners of the 7th yummex Middle East Innovation Awards in four categories. The winners were honored during the trade fair. This year's winners are:

Best Bakery Product


Biscuiterie De Provence

Best Chocolate Product

Feel FIT Protein peanut butter pralines

Newtrition Sp. z.o.o. sp.k

Best Hard & Soft Candy Product

Eclats de fruits - Fruit Jellies

Francois Doucet Confiseur

Best Snack Product

Soft Nut bars with Honey Greek Yoghurt Dessert & Cranberry

Jannis S.A.

Gulfood Manufacturing, the Speciality Food Festival and Private Label & Licensing Middle East were staged parallel to yummex Middle East, offering all trade fair participants additional business potential. Next year, ISM Middle East is scheduled to take place in Dubai from Nov. 8-10, 2022.