MUNICH — WeCarry emerged victorious in the inaugural iba.START UP Award at the 2023 edition of the trade fair for the baking and confectionery industries.

Presented in the first ever iba.START UP Area supported by Puratos, the award recognizes WeCarry’s potential to drive positive change in the baking industry.

The startup, based in Munich, developed a deposit-based reusable system for bakery packaging, offering a resource-saving alternative to single-use paper bags. The system allows consumers to choose a sustainable reusable bag for a €1 deposit when purchasing baked goods. Upon returning the bag, customers receive their deposit back. WeCarry manages the entire logistics and cleaning process, providing a “hassle-free packaging-as-a-service” solution for bakeries.

WeCarry’s award was presented by iba Exhibition Director Susann Seidemann and Philippe Arnauts, group communications manager at Puratos.

“Twenty-four ambitious startups took part in this first award ever organized at iba — a reflection of the dynamism and creativity that we want the iba.START UP Area to foster,” Mr. Arnauts said. “Ultimately, it was the public that decided WeCarry was deserving of the iba.START UP Award. Sustainability and innovation can and must go together, and WeCarry’s idea is a great example of that.”

WeCarry is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Nelly Mathias and Mischa Wendel, who share both a passion for the environment and a love of quality bread. This led to the development of the WeCarry system.

“Our aim is to revolutionize the way baked goods are sold in bakeries —shifting from single-use to reusable packaging,” Ms. Wendel said. “Our vision is to spark a movement similar to the one already underway for coffee cups."

WeCarry is already in use in the greater Munich area, and its immediate focus is to expand its presence in Germany by partnering with more bakeries. The goal is to significantly reduce single-use packaging nationwide. Simultaneously, the company aims to expand into other EU countries and is actively seeking partners with appropriate local networks and expertise.

“It was incredibly exciting to see WeCarry win the award,” Mr. Arnauts said. “Their philosophy is perfectly aligned with ours — to move the planet forward through innovation and sustainable practices. We're eagerly anticipating the continued success and evolution of WeCarry.”