Confectionery Live 2024 comes to a close

The global confectionery industry welcomed back the return of Confectionery Live on 21-22 February, as the must-attend virtual event brought the latest trends, innovations and insights to an international audience.

1400+ attendees representing 92 countries came together to hear from a range of topics from EUDR regulation to gummy and jelly manufacturing and consumer trends based on the theme ‘The Leaders of Tomorrow: Pioneering Innovation, Futureproofing Success, Eco-Managing with Care.’

For the first time at Confectionery Live, the International Confectionery Awards were held in collaboration with the virtual event and recognised and honoured eight winners across different categories from Rising Star, recognising up and comers to Lifetime Achievement, acknowledging people who have dedicated their lives to the confectionery industry.

We would like to extend our congratulations to the award winners and thanks to our esteemed judging panel for taking part.

The award winners are as follows:

  • Sustainability Project of the Year: Luker Chocolate
  • Woman of the Year: Amy Guittard, Chief Marketing Officer, Guittard Chocolate Company
  • Product of the Year: Aaraya Chocolates
  • Lifetime Achievement: Gary Guittard, President, Guittard Chocolate Company
  • Rising Star: Ayissi Nyemba, Founder of Emkao Foods
  • Startup of the Year: WNWN Food Labs
  • Innovation of the Year: Freedom Confectionery
  • Company of the Year: Hames Chocolates

On the first day of Confectionery Live, Thea Parson, Forest & Climate Associate at Mighty Earth opened the day as she discussed their mission towards establishing deforestation-free cocoa and ensuring cocoa farmers are supported; while later in the day Piet Tæstensen, CEO of Aasted spoke to Editor Caitlin Gittins about translating sustainability into the chocolate processing world.

In the second half of day one attendees heard from Yannick Rihs, Plant Manager at PRONATEC spoke about setting up an organic cocoa processing plant; Aaron Adu, Managing Director of the Global Shea Alliance discussed shea’s value as a sustainable ingredient; and wrapping up the day, Jon Walker, Senior Advisor, Cocoa at Fairtrade International discussed the upcoming EUDR regulation and Fairtrade’s own support of cocoa farmers.

On the second day, attendees were treated to a wealth of insights delivered by Headline Sponsor Tanis in the form of three sessions on gummy and jelly manufacturing. Tom Verburg, Area Sales Manager EMEA talked about their Guinness world breaking achievement in making the world’s largest gummy bear and the challenges involved; Mikal Lafevre, Food Technologists took attendees through identifying errors in gummies and resolving them; and finishing it, Manon Kerremans, Manager Innovation Centre knowledge shared on the topic of fondant.

William Angleys, Sales Director of Cabosse Naturals also returned to talk about upcycled cacaofruit, this time from the perspective of the value it offers as an ingredient in confectionery; Editor Caitlin Gittins talked to Inge Demeyere, Managing Director of Bakery, Ice cream and Confectionery at Cargill about the gourmet chocolate industry; and wrapping up the day Caitlin spoke to Thea from Mighty Earth and Saunder Rederink, CEO and Founder of Carble about the EUDR legislation.

From the Confectionery Live team, we’d like to extend a big thank you to our sponsors, for their support, to our speakers, for taking the time to deliver insightful sessions and to our attendees, for joining us over the two-day period.

“We were delighted to launch the International Confectionery Awards to recognise and celebrate the achievements of innovators and thought leaders in the confectionery industry,” commented Jon Pittock, Publisher, Hand Media International. “The latest edition of Confectionery Live not only provided a vital source of information for the global confectionery industry, but demonstrated how virtual events and online contact is becoming a more essential part of companies’ strategies today.

“We look forward to welcoming attendees back in September and continuing to be a vital source of information and insights to the industry.”

Mark your calendars for the next Confectionery Live, which will be taking place on 17-18 September.

Stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and exclusives in our magazine.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Confectionery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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