A world of innovation at iba

by Shane Whitaker
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At iba, exhibitors will offer a variety of services for the entire baking industry, according to Dieter Dohr, chairman of the management board of GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH. We asked Mr. Dohr and Peter Becker, president of the German Bakers’ Confederation, to provide an insider’s perspective on the upcoming event, which runs Sept. 16-21 in Munich, Germany.

Baking & Snack: What are the major trends in the global baking industry, and how have they changed over the past five years?

Dieter Dohr: The trend for bakers and confectioners is to purchase products from the industry to better meet customer expectations of a wider product range. There is a significant increase in demand for nutritional products that support the health needs of the population. Keywords here are gluten-free bread or low-carb products.

Further topics, which are becoming more important, are packaging solutions, process optimization and automation of snacks, brought-in items and convenience products. In various markets worldwide, it has become increasingly apparent that bakers are developing a store concept that could be called a “lifestyle bakery.” Here, consumers will find the complete range of products for takeaway or take-home or for enjoying in the store. The demand and range in this regard is continuously expanding.

Peter Becker: Resource management is one of the main challenges for the whole industry, and that means energy efficiency, how raw materials are purchased, how to recruit talented young employees as well as process optimization. Furthermore, it becomes clear that there is greater and stronger competition from food retailers as they run their own production plants to a large extent.

What innovations and advances in baking equipment do you expect iba attendees will see?

Mr. Dohr: The focus will cover all sectors of the baking market, including production technology, raw ingredients, packaging, process optimization, food for “on the go” and shop fittings.

For the trade visitor intending to invest in new energy-efficient production technology, a visit to iba is a must. Nowhere else can one find such a selection of ovens, slicing machines, storage technology and equipment for dough and patisserie preparation because iba is the only venue at which the exhibitors display their complete product range every three years. These manufacturing components are complemented by the whole gamut of technology surrounding refrigeration, fermentation and air-conditioning.

Unique to iba, too, is the display of fully assembled baking production lines and production line technology — which, as one would expect in the "world’s largest bakery," can be seen in operation. Nothing less than these daily live demonstrations will adequately convey the capabilities of the different machines, as the visitor watching them in action, close up at the Munich iba, will quickly appreciate.

This time round, for example, such groups as retail bakery proprietors, major producers, dough piece manufacturers and representatives of food retailing are expecting a much expanded product range in the packaging technology and packaging solutions segment. The product palette concerned ranges from eco-friendly, super-hygienic and material-saving packaging solutions for bread, dough, cakes or patisserie to packaging machines dedicated to wrapping, shaping, filling, palletizing, tracking and labeling. Flanking the packaging section will be a representative selection of machinery covering every stage of the manufacturing process — from logistics to process optimization and control systems.

As a segment of ever-growing importance to bakers and pastry makers, on-the-go consumption obviously has to feature at iba — the entire "food on the go" concept is one sector that has great potential for the future. Tips will therefore be available on how to prepare snacks that go beyond the wraps, bagels and muffins that are usually offered. Furthermore bakers and patissiers at the fair learn everything they will need so as to be prepared for the rising demand for ice-cream, chocolate, patisseries and packaged sweet desserts.

Another strong trend is the growing desire of our customers for good coffee. At the iba, you can compare the different types of coffee machine and sample the different coffee flavors for yourself directly on-site.

What value does the iba Summit add to this year’s event?

Mr. Dohr: The iba Summit event for baking professionals is taking place for the first time ever in 2012, one day before the trade fair opens. On Saturday, Sept. 15, this new networking and information platform will play host to keynote speakers from the fields of politics and science, as well as successful entrepreneurs, who will give talks at the invitation of the Zentralverband des deutschen Bäckerhandwerks (German Bakers’ Confederation). These presentations will include John Dalli, EU commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, and Prof. Klaus Töpfer, former head of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) giving their accounts of future trends in world nutrition. Other topics that will be discussed include trends in the international baking trade and trendsetters in food marketing.

How is iba cooperating with the American Bakers’ Association, BEMA and the US baking industry to bring a version of the iba Summit to IBIE in 2013?

Mr. Becker: Before we had start to organize the iba Summit, there was a common discussion on the last fair in Las Vegas, with the American Bakers’ Association and BEMA, how a summit for a "world baking dialogue" could be created. Our proposal was that this congress should take place at different places annually — beginning with iba in Munich in 2012, Las Vegas in 2013, East Asia in 2014 and then to iba again in 2015. Since this summit will be the launch event in Munich, and as every beginning can be difficult, we will certainly meet our American colleagues after this first event to discuss about further proceedings.

How is iba different from IBIE? Feel free to talk about how the shows’ formats are different, and how the shows attract different exhibitors and attendees.

Mr. Becker: Munich iba has become a world-leading fare that’s been running for more than 60 years. There were 10 halls rented at the last iba in Munich, and now 12 halls are rented. That shows how iba strongly grows. The cultural diversity of the exhibitors is increasing and also more than the half of the visitors are not coming from Germany.

Especially machine, plant and store manufacturers show impressive functional and constructed machines and shop equipment at iba. Also suppliers for raw materials show their exceptionally developed marketing instruments as well as new developed raw materials. Experience had shown that all exhibitors need for the development of innovation about three years. For the entire American area, IBIE is the largest fair and accordingly had developed very well in the past decades. Due to a rhythm of three years, both fairs set the condition for advancement, and we can congratulate the organizers of IBIE for their good work.

What’s the major reason for attending iba this year?

Mr. Becker: At iba 2012, you can find out all about baking, which is interesting for any size of company. Not only are there functional machines for big factories, but also for small crafts enterprises, for cafés and restaurants as well as ideas for store constructions, from innovative raw materials to trends which set services, everything of distinction can be visited at iba. Visiting iba 2012 is advisable for each size of companies, since both increasing enterprises will find out trends, and latest innovations will be presented to industrial enterprises.

Mr. Dohr: A special feature of iba as a trade fair is that visitors can experience live baking in every exhibition hall. This supports the special atmosphere and gives visitors from around the world the opportunity to experience the latest techniques and methods.

In this connection iba is the only trade fair in the world to cover the entire market overview from A to Z — from appliances and aromas all the way to zest and zwieback. More than 1,060 exhibitors will be seeing to that, on an indoor floor area of 132,000 sq m. Attendance at iba on any one of the six days of the fair guarantees a comprehensive market briefing for the 36 months ahead – until the next iba opens its doors.

Nowhere is it possible to obtain information about the current state of an industry in a more concentrated and compact form than at the leading international trade fair. This leading position for the bakery, pastry shop, coffee, catering, hotel and food retail sectors is occupied by iba. The trade show in Munich will be from 16th till 21st of September, the most important meeting place for the baking trade, where professionals can exchange ideas among colleagues and other experts, gain new ideas and make vital contacts face to face. The atmosphere in Munich also facilitates this process, and will once again be enhanced by the Oktoberfest ensuring that you get to talk and do business.

By the way, just a few short steps from the main East entrance, the iba Oktoberfest tent will be open from 5 p.m. each day, offering you the chance to sample some thirst-quenching Bavarian beers and delicious local speciaities. Even before the Oktoberfest itself has started, guests from near and far will be able to experience the world-famous atmosphere for themselves as part of iba.

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