Environment-friendly products the focus of the 33rd IAW


• 60 new exhibitors generated additional interest – and sales
• 5000 trade visitors were able to extend their product range and profit potential
• Trade fair organizer Zimmermann stresses: no contradiction between sustainability and low prices

The presence of 60 new exhibitors at the 33rd International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports (IAW) in Cologne added considerably to the event’s product diversity and offered retailers more opportunities to boost their sales. A total of 260 exhibitors from 22 countries took part in the autumn show, representing an increase of 15 percent compared with the last event in spring. Approx. 5000 trade visitors from 66 countries took advantage of the diverse array of products to add favourably priced items to their range and to stock up on goods for the upcoming Christmas trade.

“Due to our emphasis on European exhibitors the IAW offers some significant benefits, especially in these challenging times”, says trade fair organizer Ulrich Zimmermann, explaining how this focus involves shorter transport routes. As a consequence, products can be delivered more quickly, thus keeping freight costs within limits, as well as saving fuel at a time when we realize the need to save energy and protect the environment by reducing emissions. The current financial pressures facing consumers also mean that there is continued demand for affordable products of good quality.

Organic, sustainable, fair
As the demand for sustainable products remains high among consumers, this segment proved popular among buyers at the IAW in Cologne. The suppliers were well prepared with a broad selection, including night lights made of recyclable paper, FFP-2 face masks in environment-friendly packaging, 100% organic, sustainably made household products, environment-friendly, hygienic wet wipes, vegan soaps, toothpaste in grass-based packaging and organic bakery products. Various stands at the IAW featured merchandise made of fast-growing bamboo – a material used in furniture, food containers, notebooks, woollen wares and in viscose socks.

Buyers at the IAW were also able to test products of four companies that became known through the German TV version of the Lion’s Den. These companies have already enjoyed commercial success – for example, with a powerless cooking system, natural cosmetic products, innovative perfume combinations and other sustainable merchandise.

Congress program featuring trade experts
Torben Jaacks spoke to an audience of buyers about the value of data analysis in improving business procedures and boosting sales. The boss of sikwel, a data & analytics consultancy in Oldenburg, was one of the keynote speakers in the E-Commerce Arena – the heart of the IAW congress program on online commerce. Jaacks asserted: “Companies need to be aware of the potential of their data and how to use it.” In collaboration with its partner restposten.de, the IAW was again able to stage a popular high-calibre program. Further highlights included contributions from Michael Mertens, IFH (Institute for Marketing Research), Cologne, on “Retail customers in 2022 – online, price-conscious and in metaverse?” and Michael Frontzek, founder of MitoU GmbH, who addressed the dilemma of what potential and opportunities Amazon still offers as well as how resellers can improve their positioning.

The central theme of the zentrada Forum was how to successfully navigate business in view of the current supply chain problems, inflation and the energy crisis. As one of the industry experts on the panel, Carsten Rohrssen, Partner and Managing Director of the Bremen-based It’s Logic, advised on the shortage of containers and increases in freight prices.

The IAW organizer Ulrich Zimmermann outlined how “the broad range covered by the event, in particular popular product groups such as health and beauty products, toys and games, underlines the role played by the IAW as a barometer of trends.” Zimmermann pointed out that the trade fair “has shown that sustainability and favourable prices are not really a contradiction.”

The next IAW event will take place from 28th February to 2nd March 2023 in Halls 6 and 9 at the Cologne Exhibition Centre. For the first time since 2019 it will again be held parallel to the Asia-Pacific Sourcing event. This outstanding platform for Asian products for home and garden will be in Halls 7 and 8 directly adjacent to the IAW.
For updated information on the upcoming 34th International Trade Fair for Retail Promotions and Imports visit: www.iaw-messe.de.

Environment-friendly products the focus of the 33rd IAW (PDF)

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