New products for the new season of confectionery and snacks…
At this year’s International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM) in Cologne (27th to 30th January) a total of 1,402 suppliers from 67 countries will be presenting confectionery and snack products to an international trade audience. Once again the fair will feature a host of new items and innovations. The main platform for all the latest developments is the New Product Showcase, located on the ISM Boulevard, where exhibitors will unveil their latest attractions. All journalists visiting ISM are invited to take part in the vote for the top three innovations, with the results to be presented on the Tuesday of the fair. This year’s ISM will feature a wide variety of trends, including not only low-fat and low-sugar products but also confectionery and snack items for consumers with special requirements – e.g. lactose-free, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian. Further top trends are, once again, sustainability, fair trade and proof of origin. Meanwhile, new flavours and combinations will be on offer throughout all sectors – from sugar confectionery to snack items. As topical as ever are top quality, high-grade ingredients and processing, and original packaging.
With more and more people obliged to observe a specific diet for reasons of health, the confectionery industry is responding to this trend with a host of new products on offer. For people with a sweet tooth and special dietary requirements, there is now a whole range of products designed to satisfy their craving while respecting such needs. These products include sugar-free and lactose-free spiced biscuits; biscuits and chocolate figures for children with food allergies; gluten-free and gelatine-free fruit gums; and a whole range of lactose-free flavours in the chocolate sector, including chocolate Santa Claus and Easter Bunny figures.
The latest trends in the baked goods sector include lavish cupcakes, deliciously moist brownies, and light and fluffy muffins, which are also available in smaller sizes and gift-wrapped. Among the new flavours featured this year are butter biscuits with rose hip or saffron and chocolate biscuit tartlets. At the same time, traditional products continue to play a major role. These include the classic Dresden stollen, colomba Easter cake, ever-fashionable macaroons and madeleines, buttery shortbread, fresh bake-at-home croissants, waffles and crispy biscuits. And for fans of classic biscuit treats there are also biscotti packed in a mini hatbox.
The chocolate segment features new flavours as well as some innovative forms of presentation. Among the new attractions are chocolates filled with liquorice; bars of chocolate sprinkled with morsels of bilberry pieces and red sugar; chocolate bars filled with maracuja; chocolates with bee pollen, pomegranate extract and acerola; nougat caramel with a delicate salty hint of “beurre salé”; and chocolate truffles flavoured with sea salt. Inspired by the current craze for gin and gin fizz cocktails, one manufacturer will be showing a range of appropriately flavoured pralines, which have a delicate lemony tang and even prickle on the tongue.
Another well-known confectioner is launching a new line of pralines for lovers of high-class chocolates. Wrapped in stylish clutch handbag packaging, these come in the shape of a lipstick or a pair of sunglasses, for example, and make an ideal and tasty gift. Demand also remains high for chocolate with a proof of origin. Highlights in this segment include a type of cocoa from Peru, with an aroma that recalls berries and wild mushrooms.
Other novelties include attractive packaging, such as a tin in the shape of an alpine cottage containing delicious chocolate waffles, and a music box that plays a cheerful yodelling melody. Chocolate combined with sugar confectionery is another trend at this year’s ISM. Crossover products here include jelly beans wrapped in rich Belgian chocolate, marshmallow sticks covered with milk chocolate, and liquorice toffees with a coating of chocolate. Another original product consists of almonds covered in chocolate with a sal ammoniac finish. Liquorice is evidently very popular this year, with ISM featuring new products such as an Advent calendar containing liquorice.
Ginger sticks in different flavours and gluten-free ginger sweets are among the most popular sweet snacks worldwide. Other products on show in this segment include classic New York chewy sweets in an attractive tin, lollipops containing chewing gum and a toy, and bonbons with an apple puree, strawberry-rhubarb or apple-quince filling. Rounding off the product range for children is chewing gum shaped like small hamburgers with a liquid centre, chewing gum in the shape of full coke bottles, and, last but not least, fruit gum bonbons in the shape of an elk – from Sweden, naturally.
New from Central America is a deliciously exotic concoction made of fresh coconut meat and coconut milk, sweetened with raw sugar.
The snack item segment will primarily feature a whole range of savoury treats. including crisps in the flavours curry sausage and shashlik, veggie crisps made of 95 per cent vegetables, crisps made of soybeans and potatoes, salami-flavoured crisps and crisps made of durum semolina. Savoury flavours will also be the order of the day in the mixed nuts segment, which will include “surprise packs” (which have to be opened to discover the type and flavour), microwave popcorn flavoured with wasabi or paprika, and, last but not least, a combination containing an old favourite: an assortment of peanuts and almonds with a chocolate and hot chilli coating.