DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Perhaps the most dramatic development at interpack 2014 involved equipment companies turning into new product developers. Certainly, energy efficiency, food safety, sanitary design and higher capacity systems in a smaller footprint dominated the show, held May 8-14 in Düsseldorf. However, several baking and snack companies among the 2,700 exhibitors that crammed into the 19 halls at the mammoth sold-out show demonstrated not only new machinery but also creative ways to put them to work.

Franz Haas Machinery featured an ideation center highlighting all of the different products that the company’s equipment can produce. Additionally, the company featured new vegetarian and savory snacks, such as Tex Mex, Thai Curry, Tomato & Cheese, and Spicy Chocolate Molé wafers.

Rheon demonstrated a “croissant with choco biscuit,” or croissant with a chocolate cookie.

“We’re taking the traditional croissant and putting a cookie texture on one side,” noted Jon Thompson, national sales director at Rheon USA. “The cookie base gives a croissant a whole new flavor profile with a new look.”

Michael Green, managing director, TNA, said equipment manufacturers need to consider themselves product developers.

“Companies like ours need to work closely with their customers to help them find new ways to use our equipment,” he said.

For many exhibitors, interpack 2014 provided additional exposure to customers from Europe, the Middle East, Brazil, Russia and China, just to name a few. U.S. companies such as Pepperidge Farm, Clif Bar and General Mills were among the many cited by exhibitors that Baking & Snack visited during the show. Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo reportedly had a contingent at the event.

Although predominately a packaging show, the processing side highlighted the international biscuit and cracker industry. Veterans of this event such as Michael Cornelis, vice-president of international sales, American Pan and Bundy Baking Solutions, noted that there were a higher number of bread bakers in attendance than in the past. Another industry veteran, Michael Fleetwood, managing director, Franz Haas Machinery of America, called the event “the best interpack ever.”

Mr. Green added that “we had high expectations for this show, and it has exceeded those expectations.”