In what is sure to be a feast for the senses, the Confectionery Sector’s premier networking event will once again be held in person this year. 

ConTech2022, on 10 May, will bring confectionery manufacturers and suppliers of ingredients, packaging and equipment together for the first time since 2019. 

Organiser Jennifer Thompson, Ai Group’s Technical & Regulatory Manager Confectionery, said there was much excitement and pent-up demand for the face-to-face national event, made possible by the continuing support of our valued sponsors including our Principal Sponsor, Manildra Group, and the Victorian Government.

“Everyone is enthusiastic about getting back together and moving forward,” Ms Thompson said. 

“It will be invigorating to engage with industry partners in person; it’s always fun to catch up with people. ConTech is also where the important issues and challenges facing the industry and potential solutions are discussed, including intelligence on domestic and global opportunities and what it means for stakeholders in our supply chain.” 

Colourful candy displays, the sweet aroma of sugar and chocolate and the buzz of news and trends being shared make the national event — in its 26th year — not to be missed. 

“Regarding trends, we’re seeing more of that smaller fun-sized bar, along with ‘bites’ and share packs,” Ms Thompson said. 

“New products are the lifeblood of the confectionery category. It’s about stimulating the market and making it new and exciting, but there will always be the all-time favourites.  

“Bearing in mind, what we grew up on will be our old-time favourites, but they won’t necessarily resonate with the five or seven-year-olds of today, so they will delight in what they are growing up with.  

“It’s about keeping it fun, novel, colourful and bright.” 

The industry includes chocolate, sugar confectionery and gum. Attending the conference will be manufacturers ranging from the multinationals like Mondelez, Nestlé, Mars Wrigley, Ferrero and Lindt & Sprungli through to smaller companies such as Darrell Lea, Menz Confectionery, Haigh’s Chocolates, Corvina and Fyna Foods. 

In addition, ConTech2022 will appeal to a broad range of wider food industry professionals, including those in the fields of: 

  • science and food technology 
  • new product development 
  • research and development 
  • regulatory matters
  • operations and management 
  • sales and procurement 
  • marketing, communications and corporate affairs 
  • supply of food ingredients, machinery, packaging and services and 
  • confectionery wholesaling and distributing. 

Food technology students from the William Angliss Institute are special guests. 

”ConTech is an opportunity for these students to network with the industry where we hope they may become employed,” Ms Thompson said. 

"Through this event, the industry invests in their learning and skill development as the all-important and potential next generation of confectioner. 

“It’s going to be a terrific event.” 

ConTech2022 is a one-day learning and networking event featuring a trade exhibition. Special guest speakers will share insightful case studies to inspire and inform. For further information, including registration, sponsorship and trade exhibition inquiries, please contact Jennifer Thompson 

 

Wendy Larter

Wendy Larter is the Senior Content Writer at Ai Group. She is a journalist with more than 20 years’ experience as a reporter, features writer, contributor and sub-editor for newspapers and magazines including The Courier-Mail in Brisbane and Metro, News of the World, The Times and Elle in the UK.