ProSweets 2019: a bitter-sweet (af)fair

orehi letina 2018-2019
Walnuts – crop 2018: current situation and trends for the end of the season

ProSweets 2019: a bitter-sweet (af)fair

Regardless of the official statistics for ProSweets 2019, saying that this year was the most successful in the history of the fair with 21.000 visitors (+5% compared to 2018) and 343 exhibiting companies (+5% compared to 2018), we left the fair with a bitter-sweet taste.

Invitation to the ProSweets 2019


We started the year 2019 with the ProSweets 2019 fair that was held in Kőln between 27th and 31st of January. Many of our clients belong to the sector of sweets and healthy snacks (bakeries and suppliers to bakeries, snack producers etc.), so we considered it a great opportunity to gain more exposure. Since we have not participated at this fair before, we opted to exhibit in the Newcomer Area for maximum exposure during the four days of the fair.


Participating at food fairs has become one of our priorities, as it gives us the opportunity to meet new business partners and maintain already established cooperations.

Our team at the ProSweets 2019


ProSweets fair is promoted as one of the most important international platform for the suppliers for the sweets industry. Growing in scale every year, it has become an important meeting point, especially considering the fact that ISM fair is held simultaneously. According to the official statistics there was an increase both in the number of visitors as well as exhibitors compared to 2018 (both by 5%). However, exhibitors left with mixed impressions. Speaking with other exhibitors and comparing our impressions of the success of the fair (number of visitors, number of new contacts, meeting etc.), it was generally agreed that interest in the fair this year was somehow lacking. Poor weather conditions in January may have also affected the attendance at both ISM and ProSweets fair.

The first day of the fair started a bit slow, with not too many visitors – as it was expected, considering it was a Sunday. We established some new contacts for possible future business cooperations and also met our cordial and friendly neighbouring companies at the Newcomer Area. On the 2nd and 3rd day there were more visitors, we had some successful meetings and also paid a visit to some of our existing clients at the ISM. The last day of the fair was a disappointment, with many exhibitors leaving before the end – both at the ProSweets and ISM fair.


The PROs

  • Turn-key booth: one of the advantages of the Newcomer Area was a turn-key solution for the booth with everything set up for us before our arrival
  • Free access to ISM fair
  • Lounge area for Newcomer Area with free coffee
  • Koelnmesse staff support during the fair

 The CONs

  • We have expected Newcomer Area to receive a better media exposure (aslo considering the promotional material before applying for the fair), but it was hardly mentioned in the media and PR material available at the fair.
  • Raw materials and ingredients would receive a better exposure within the ISM fair, considering the fact the ProSweets fair is becoming more and more »machine«, t.i. production oriented.
  • In spite of the ISM and ProSweets fairs happening simultaniously, each fair had a separate catalogue – ISM had a nice booklet, ProSweets’s catalogue was more like a flyer. If it makes sense to organize two interconnected fairs at the same time, it would make sense to produce an unified catalogue as well.
  • A bad placement of the ProSweets fair within the Koelnmesse (Hall 10 basement).

Final thought

ProSweets 2019 was an important experience, resulting in some business opportunities and signed contracts for us. But there is certainly room for improvement, for the raw materials and ingredients in particular. Nonetheless, our team had a great time and took the opportunity to explore also the city and the local cuisine.


Celebrating after the ProSweets fair