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AMARETTI, SUGARED ALMONDS AND LICORICE: TOP QUALITY ITALIAN SWEETS ON SHOW IN COLOGNE
There are soft, crunchy amaretti, panforte, cantuccini biscuits and even the delicious cuneesi rum chocolates. Then there are various typical Christmas products such as torroncini, croccante and panettoni. The very best of traditional Italian confectionery will be on show at the ISM fair in Cologne, which runs from January 31st to February 3rd 2010. This is the most important international event for those who work in the sector, and is now being staged for the fortieth time.
It is a truly gourmet occasion, delighting the eye and above all the palate of whoever chooses to visit any of the 41 stands hosted by Italian companies and coordinated by the Italian Trade Commission. In addition, it is an important opportunity to demonstrate the fact that Italy is indeed one of the European countries with the widest range of top quality confectionery.
Besides, the sweet-making sector is also one of the most buoyant in the Italian economy. In 2008, confectionery exports amounted to about 937,000 tons, with an equivalent value of 2,422 million Euros. This means they registered an increase of +7.35% over the previous year, despite the negative impact of the global economic crisis.
The main export markets for the Italian confectionery industry are the countries of the European Union, in particular France, and Germany, host of the ISM fair, and France. Here, biscuit-type products are particularly popular, as well chocolate and sugar-based confectionery, and ice-creams.
For this reason, Italian companies are certain to be amongst the most sought-after at the Cologne exhibition next January. The 2009 fair attracted a record attendance, with 32,500 visitors from 150 different countries, and 1,593 exhibitors occupying 110,000 square meters of exhibition space. Italy also made its mark on this occasion as the most significant foreign presence at the event: boasting 155 exhibitors, it was narrowly followed by Belgium with 151.
The hope is, therefore, to repeat the success of the previous year. To this end, a business area is to be set up near the stands to facilitate, to the best possible extent, contacts between Italian companies and foreign operators in the sector. They will be treated to a kind of “virtual journey” through the regions of Italy and their many different confectionery specialities. Particular attention will be given to “confetti” (sugared almonds), and their principal home of Sulmona in Abruzzo, as well as liquorice sweets, which are mainly produced in Calabria.
However, it is also worth noting that the ISM fair in Cologne also hosts a section specially dedicated to savoury snacks, and Italian producers will contribute to this part of the exhibition with their usual eye to quality. On show will be various types of crisps, cheese sticks, popcorn and even tortillas. Visitors will not be able to resist the tempting array of Italian specialities on display. Only the very best ingredients are selected for the manufacture of these products, ensuring that they satisfy even the most demanding palate, while the refined and innovative packaging is visually extremely pleasing.