ISM exhibitor, PaPicante, underlines the advantages that participation in trade shows can have for young start-ups. The company which was founded by Nadja Schoser and Tobias Zinßer in 2017 will be participating at the leading global trade fair for sweets and snacks for the third time in 2019. The following interview reports back on the company’s experiences at the ISM trade fair:
How did the idea of PaPicante come about?
Nadja Schoser: “We came up with the idea of PaPicante out of personal interest and our professional background. Because both from the view of a stewardess, who is continually dealing with travellers and busy people, and from the perspective of an athlete, a healthy, savoury counterpart to the well-known sweet cereal bar, seemed to be an excellent addition. The name is a direct reference to the ‘savoury revolution’ in the snack bar section, and that is why we came up with the idea of combining the Spanish word “Papi”, which means a cool dude, with picante, i.e. spicy. In other words, PaPicante is a cool, spicy snack bar that you actually want to sink your teeth into.”
What is the special feature about your products?
Tobias Zinßer: “As a savoury snack bar PaPicante is based on pea protein crisps in three international flavours – American Style, Asian Style and Mediterranean Style. We didn’t want to just create an everyday snack bar. It is much more about producing international cuisine in pocket format – i.e. a novel lifestyle product with actual added value, which among others follows the current food trends and customer wishes thanks to the implementation of the domestic green ‘superfood’ pea protein crisps as its innovative basic ingredient. In principle, the bars are the perfect snack for in-between meals – whether as a small lunch between strenuous business meetings, as a healthy food-for-thought snack at university or as a light snack before going to the gym. PaPicante is also good for people with food intolerances, vegetarians or vegans because the bars are not only gluten and lactose-free, they are also free from gene manipulation and comprise of natural ingredients without conservatives due to the vegetable protein sources.
You have been an exhibitor at ISM since 2017 and have participated in the Newcomer Area 2017 and the Start-up Area in 2018. Can you briefly describe what distinguishes the respective platform and which advantages they offer ISM newcomers?
Nadja Schoser: “We had our first sampling/test panel before the market launch at ISM 2017 in the Newcomer Area. The advantage of this area for us as an exhibitor is that you only have to bring along your sample products and the deco material, and you can get going. Furthermore, all of the stands get the same amount of attention, which is a real advantage as a newcomer. Furthermore, the ISM visitors know that new products are presented in the Newcomer Area so that good initial contacts can be made here. In 2018, we opted for the Start-Up Area, first of all, to try out a different section and secondly, because this presentation option was interesting for us due to the favourably-priced conditions. Here too, one more or less just brings one’s products and some stand design elements along, which means there is also little logistical effort involved. I would recommend this section for young companies that would like to present themselves to the industry for the first time.”
What difference has participating at ISM made for you and your business?
Tobias Zinßer: “After our first participation we received clear, open feedback about our product, which we, in turn, adapted accordingly. Furthermore, we were able to get to know the snack and food industry and its practices better and faster thanks to ISM. And of course, we engaged in an exchange with decision-makers at the trade fair, which subsequently led to initial deals.”
Next year you are participating in the New Snack Area. What are your expectations regarding this section?
Tobias Zinßer: “We are expecting to be more visible to potential B2B customers. In our opinion, the New Snack Area should be perfectly suitable for this purpose.”
Why is it worthwhile for newcomers and young companies to participate at ISM?
Nadja Schoser: “The scheduling of ISM at the end of January, beginning of February fits in very well with the timing of the selection process of buyers for possible new listings. Very many important decision-makers – particularly buyers – actively search for products at the trade fair and we can build up good relations. Furthermore, as a food company specialising in snack items we got good, precise feedback on our products. And of course, by participating at ISM, but also in other trade events too, we achieve more visibility and extends our level of recognition. In addition to observing trends, personal networking and getting to know potential new business contacts is a real bonus.”