Looking back on iba 2015, it’s amazing how the show has transformed itself over the years. Back in 1992, when it was held in Berlin, the event touted itself as the “World of Baking,” but the world of attendees at that time tended to be primarily German craft bakers and mid-sized European bakers from neighboring countries. Back then, you didn’t see a 1,500-lb horizontal mixer or tunnel oven at the show. It was all about spiral mixers, cake decorations, American-style donuts, shop fittings and rack ovens for artisan bakers.
This year, the show held in Munich, Germany, was definitely more of an industrial affair that featured the newest innovations — even prototypes — of wholesale baking equipment. Unlike years ago, attendance was dominated by an international contingent, which included a host of American bakers searching for the latest in technology. Although still sponsored by the German Bakers’ Confederation of craft bakers, the six-day event attracted top operations executives from Grupo Bimbo, Aryzta, Campbell Soup, Clif Bar, Turano Baking, Harlan Bakeries, Orlando Baking, Alpha Baking — just to name a few. In fact, an estimated 40% of representatives from the American Bakers Association’s board of directors attended the show.