For the affable Peter Becker, president of the German Baker’s Confederation, iba 2015 now going on in Munich, Germany, will be special: It’s his last as president of the confederation.
Since the mid-1980s, Mr. Becker has attended every one of these trade shows. Back then, iba was considered mainly a European event, but over time, it expanded its presence more broadly in the international baking community. During these years, Mr. Becker witnessed remarkable advances in bakery automation, and he has seen issues like energy efficiency and food safety emerge to become part of a baker’s daily life.
This year, for example, many bakers say that packaging has become the hot department on the plant floor. Indeed, many refer to it as the next frontier to be conquered from a technological perspective. In fact, many companies are searching for innovation outside of the baking industry, not only to streamline operations but also to better react to consumer trends and to add excitement to the marketplace.
Responding to this need, Mr. Becker noted, iba created the “Packaging Area" for this year’s show. Globally, Mr. Becker sees other trends.
“Particularly noteworthy is the increased consumption of bread and baked goods in Asia, as well as a renaissance in Europe of classic types of grain, such as amaranth and einkorn wheat, not to mention the rediscovery of apparently more healthy grains, such as chai seeds and quinoa, becoming popular all over the globe,” he said recently.
Check out Baking & Snack’s on-line dispatches from iba, which runs Sept. 12-17, and our exclusive interview with Mr. Becker on www.BakingBusiness.com.