Three years is a long time when talking about ingredient innovation, product enhancements and trends affecting formulations and processing operations. Since IBIE 2007 at Orlando, FL, the economy took a very hard hit but is now starting to recover; commodity prices skyrocketed but also recovered; gluten-free, health-and-wellness, omega-3s and other categories went from fad to trend; steel prices continue to fluctuate; and food safety and sanitary design are en vogue more than ever.
As the industry approaches its triennial event, to be held Sept. 26-29 at Las Vegas, NV, many baking companies are beginning to consider the value of attending and who and how many people from their companies should attend. We went to the key sources of information — Rich Hoskins, IBIE Committee chair and president of Colborne/Foodbotics Corp.; Mike Beatty, IBIE Committee vice-chairman and senior vice-president, supply chain, at Flowers Foods; Dennis Gunnell, education program director and vice-president of sales at Formost Fuji; and Mike Cornelis, Louis Lesaffre Cup competition coordinator and president of Sasa DeMarle — for their insight.
LEARN ALL ABOUT IT.
With five days of learning opportunities, the robust, comprehensive educational conference is five times larger and broader in scope than that offered in 2007. Sponsored by the American Bakers Association (ABA), BEMA, the American Institute of Baking International (AIB), the Retail Bakers of America (RBA), The Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBG) and the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA), the multi-faceted conference program includes more than 50 sessions designed to help participants improve product, productivity and profitability, according to the IBIE committee.
“The sessions cover the spectrum of the grain-based foods industry,” Mr. Gunnell said. “There are presentations directed toward retail, management, wholesale and maintenance.” There will be round
table discussions on several topics, and hands-on sessions for cake decorating as well as demonstrations and competitions presented by RBA.
TIA’s Technical Seminar, co-located with IBIE for the first time, will also be part of the overall education program. “TIA’s sessions address operational skills, safety regulations, quality control, plant
efficiency and other interests,” Mr. Gunnell pointed out. “It provides timely information for tortilla producers as well as others in the baking industry trying to capitalize on this growing segment.”
Participants can choose from seminars on baking technology, food safety and security, business management and marketing, cake and cookie decorating, artisan bread making, healthy baking and more. As part of the ongoing initiative to attract more industry professionals from Latin America, IBIE and AIB International are offering two classes in Spanish.
According to Mr. Hoskins, “IBIE has always been regarded for the innovative and cutting-edge products and technologies that are launched on the Expo floor. Now, it will bring the newest and best in baking industry information and technology to the classroom, too.”
Education sessions will begin daily at 8:30 a.m. and will end at noon, and Saturday’s sessions end at 3:30 p.m. Most sessions are complimentary with IBIE registration, while some seminars and hands-on
programs require an additional fee.
From an exhibitor’s point of view, there is a lot of optimism for this show, according to Mr. Hoskins. “With the economy turning around, consumer buying trends up and businesses have ‘right sized’ as much as possible, they are now starting to look at new equipment, production lines and production plants to meet the needs of their customers. With all that, the enhancements of having RBA, TIA and the Bread Bakers Guild co-locating with IBIE and the strong education sessions, IBIE will be a huge magnet to not only bring in attendees but also to bring back groups to the show.” For many years, suppliers and multi-plant bakeries have brought together many facets of their companies for corporate staff meetings during IBIE, according to Mr. Hoskins. Ample private meeting space is available onsite through the convention center.
On the Expo floor, expect to see more automation capabilities with less complexity, Mr. Hoskins noted. “Food safety will also be very apparent,” he said. “New designs, monitoring ability and faster, easier and clean-break changeover capability are some of the advances expected. Sustainability will be evident, and IBIE exhibitors will be competing for recognition in a number of sustainability categories.”
IBIE is once again being recognized in the International Buyers Program, sponsored by the US Department of Commerce, which helps bring trade missions to Expo along with more international press and coverage. Overall, Mr. Hoskins expects attendance to jump by more than 3,000 people, compared with Expo 2007. “Many of these folks will be from small- and medium-size baking companies, which in turn will bring better return for small and medium exhibitors,” he said.
From the bakers’ standpoint, new technology and solutions to today’s challenges will be on the agenda, according to Mr. Beatty. “Capital investments will focus on organic and top-line growth, which is a tough thing to achieve,” he said. “This involves innovation and flexibility to add new products and new product lines.”
In addition, Mr. Beatty noted an ongoing desire for efficiency at Flowers and most other companies’ bakeries, which includes increasing productivity, and reducing cost and waste. “Where are bakers going to get the biggest bang for the buck?” he asked rhetorically. “ROI is most crucial, both internal and external. Project justification, prioritization and project definition are critical points of discussion. We at Flowers are going into Expo with specific projects in mind as well as general interest in seeing new innovations and evaluating secondary suppliers because of the continuing supplier consolidation.”
Most bakers will be looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost and waste. “But part of any conversation on equipment will include food safety, sanitary design, energy use and social
responsibility,” Mr. Beatty noted.
Robotics and back-end systems will also be important to bakers this year. “Most of the inefficiencies and waste have traditionally been with post-baking operations,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities for bakers to solve many of the issues noted.”
As a baker, Mr. Beatty is very excited about having RBA, TIA and BBG joining the event. “Our motto this year, ‘Where the Industry Connects,’ is very appropriate. We look forward to interaction between the various baking segments, top-line growth opportunities and other advantages coming from having all these groups together.”
FIGHT FOR THE CUP.
The regional qualifier for the Louis Lesaffre Cup competition will take place during the 4-day Baking Expo. Eight countries will be competing in the North and South America zone, one of five zones around the world holding similar competitions. Two countries from each zone (except Africa/Middle East with one country qualifying) will move on to face each other in 2012 at the Europain trade fair in Paris, France, for the Bakery World Cup. “North American countries competing against each other include the US, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica,” Mr. Cornelis said, “with one winner declared. Representing South America are Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, also with one winner declared.
“Each team has three members,” he continued. “Each member specializes in one category —
baguettes and special breads, Viennese-style pastries and artistic pieces.” The competitions last eight hours with one hour for preparation. An independent jury will evaluate the entries and select the winners on the fourth day of IBIE.
The Africa/Middle East regional competition will be held in April 2011 at the Cremai show in Casablanca, Morocco; Pacific Asia competition will be in May 2011 at Bakery China, Shanghai, China; Western Europe at the Fete Du Pain in Paris, France, also in May 2011; and Central and Eastern Europe in September 2011 at a yet undetermined event and location.
“More than ever, we’re encouraging our members to bring a vertical team to IBIE,” added Robb MacKie, president and c.e.o. of ABA, and co-sponsor of IBIE with BEMA. “Whether their job function is engineering, research and development, plant management or business management, there truly is something for everyone.”
Chocolate Master Competition
With final approval signed in mid-April, IBIE 2010 will be the site of the World Chocolate Masters regional qualifier. From September 2010 to May 2011, Barry Callebaut AG will organize worldwide national selections for the World Chocolate Masters in which chocolatiers, pastry chefs and other chocolate professionals compete to advance to the World Finals. During the US qualifier, to be held at IBIE in Las Vegas, Sept. 26-29, contestants will make a large chocolate showpiece, a chocolate pastry, two different pralines and a gastronomic chocolate dessert. A professional jury will judge all creations on their presentation, taste and technical application.
he winner of the national contest will be granted the title of National Chocolate Master 2011. He or she will receive national and international press, a coveted prize package and the ability to leverage the recognition received to boost his or her career. The National Chocolate Master 2011 also will compete in the next final of the World Chocolate Masters, where 20 of the world’s best craftsmen will vie for the title of World Chocolate Master 2011.