Monday, January 24, 2011

Candy Blog goes to Europe: ISM Cologne

imageISM Cologne is the world’s largest confectionery trade fair. For over forty years it’s featured the best in European candy and biscuits (cookies). About 1,500 companies from 70 different countries around the world come to display their wares to buyers, wholesalers and brokers.

I’ll be attending this year, with a full press pass to cover the show. The show lasts four days, starting Sunday, January 30th to Wednesday, February 2nd at the 4th largest convention hall in Europe, Kolnmesse. The exhibits cover more than one million square feet. (I’m bringing good walking shoes.)

More on the 2011 trade fair from Professional Candy Buyer magazine.


I’m really excited to go to Germany, which has such a rich and varied tradition of candy. They have such a wide array of confectionery traditions, from their invention of the Gummi Bear, traditional devotion to dairy milk chocolate and marzipan and globally known brands such as Ritter Sport, Haribo and Kinder (part of Ferrero).

My journey will begin in Amsterdam, where I plan to spend three days checking out the local licorice and chocolate scene. Then I head to Cologne via ICE (high speed train) on Friday. I’m hoping to spend a day before the show starts visiting local German stores to see how and where candy is sold to get a sense of how confections fit into daily life in comparison to North America. Cologne is also home to the Chocolate Museum, so I plan to get a world-class education on chocolate.

Posting may be a little lighter here for the next ten days or so, but after I get home with my lovely samples and photos, I’ll have lots to share.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:55 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     Behind the ScenesCandyISM CologneHighlightFeatured News

  1. Cybele - be sure to check out the chocolate from Zotter. We bought some in Salzburg over Christmas and it’s pretty great stuff. Enjoy your time in Europe!

    Comment by Bill on 1/24/11 at 7:09 am #
  2. Wow! Have fun in Europe! Can’t wait to read your account.

    Comment by Dawn & Irene on 1/24/11 at 7:22 am #
  3. In Amsterdam, I definitely recommend checking out Leonidas and Puccini Bomboni for chocolates. And of course, Jamin, the quintessential Dutch candy shop.

    Comment by Korres on 1/24/11 at 9:41 am #
  4. I loved Cologne when I went! I hope you have a wonderful time. There are several neat museums (the Roman one is good). I highly recommend the Cölner Hofbräu. They have great food and terrific beer!

    Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG
    Am Hof 12-18
    50667 Köln

    Comment by Misty in Utah on 1/24/11 at 10:05 am #
  5. Ja, also go to Haxenhaus in alt Köln for the perfect dinner after all of that ISM sugar:  local sausage and beer for starters and a giant “Haxen” for dinner.  Sehr gut!

    Comment by Liz Tagami on 1/24/11 at 12:13 pm #
  6. Have fun for all of us!

    Comment by Jammies on 1/24/11 at 2:10 pm #
  7. Have a great time!  And be sure to try the brownies in Amsterdam…

    Comment by SallyO on 1/24/11 at 5:01 pm #
  8. Sounds like fun!

    Comment by Jack on 1/24/11 at 6:30 pm #
  9. If you’re going to Germany, I highly recommend checking out a Bären Land store. There’s one in Cologne, located at 16, Breite Strasse (their website provides some more info: the URL is ).
    I don’t think they’re well known outside of German-speaking countries. They’re a German chain of stores that carry all sorts of gummies. I’ve tried a few of their products, and they haven’t disappointed me so far. Their gummies tend to be well-crafted and come in some pretty innovative flavors, including spicy chili gummies or coffee gummies next to the more traditional fruit flavours. I love their sour tangerine gummies and mixed citrus gummies especially.

    Comment by V. on 1/25/11 at 1:12 am #
  10. Sounds like fun!
    In Amsterdam you have a chocolate shop called Unlimited Delicious- they have a nice assortment of the usual, like cinnamon chocolate coated almonds, but also chocolates with interesting tastes, like sherry raisin. They have a website if you want to check them out.

    Comment by Annemarie on 1/25/11 at 6:19 am #
  11. What a phenomenal trip! Can’t wait to see the spoils. Enjoy.

    Comment by Julia on 1/25/11 at 8:22 am #
  12. I went to the Cologne chocolate museum and thought it was very cool, with one exception. Let’s see if you agree that the big vat of melted chocolate (shown on the home page of the museum website) is the most milky-non-chocolate-flavor you’ve ever had! I guess they have to water it down because they give so much away, but I did not like it :(. Other than that, the gift shop is excellent, and the museum is a lot of fun. Enjoy!

    Comment by Marly on 1/25/11 at 1:23 pm #
  13. Ooooh…be careful of the Dutch salt licorice. Not as much a treat as a trial to eat.

    Comment by Helldog on 1/25/11 at 10:12 pm #
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