With an impressive 10% growth in attendance over its previous edition, IBIE concluded its four days packed with innovation in all aspects of the baking business, with unanimous feedback: we have witnessed the most successful show ever, reflecting a thriving industry.
By Catalina Mihu, Editor in Chief European Baker & Biscuit
Innovation was the underlying theme of the show held in Las Vegas from September 7 to 11, throughout the complete spectrum of products and resources, from technology, baking supplies, to ingredients, packaging equipment, and materials, to software and process optimization solutions. Trends highlighted an emphasis on smarter production, and process automation combined with simplified operations. Innovations in proofing, cooling, and blast freezing applications were among highlights; for example, I.J. White’s innovative New-Way Systems earned its spot in the Innovation Showcase. It is a new conveying solution, ideal for cooling and freezing applications suitable for narrow spaces, that allows products to enter low and discharge low to eliminate transfers, in an ultra-hygienic design.
Other buzzwords encapsulating trends as seen at IBIE revolved around clean labels, plant-based ingredients, and sustainability. There were plenty of solutions to pick from reflecting a priority for sustainability and the environment, covering all production aspects: innovations are available to minimize waste, and resources used, to optimize processes, to measure, inspect and prevent, to ensure food safety and full transparency in production.
Organizers had announced a bigger, broader IBIE and participation figures showed impressive growth: close to 1,000 exhibitors, 237 of whom new to IBIE, showcased their best and latest at IBIE for more than 20,000 visiting professionals on the largest show floor in its history of nearly 100 years. Much of this growth came from international markets, as attendees from more than 100 countries represented nearly 30% of the total audience, most of them coming from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Japan, and Mexico. “IBIE continues to provide the platform for the entire baking community to gather and celebrate the vibrancy of this industry,” Joe Turano, IBIE chairman, summarized this year’s edition of the triennial show.
Dawn Foods has announced its own, eagerly-anticipated trends, a result of global research undertaken by the specialist. One of the seven trends revolves around simplifying processes for manufacturers, to save time and resources. Dawn’s research shows that 60% of consumers rely heavily on time-saving products and services. One answer to this is snacking and grab & go options and frozen products hold potential in this regard. Steven Verweij, president of Europe and AMEAP, Dawn Foods, told us in an interview at IBIE: “I think the frozen sector is an important one, also impacted by the de-scaling trend in the industry. Especially in Europe, there are bakers who defrost and prepare frozen goods, to save time and to be able to provide a wider range of products. There will also be products that they make themselves. We will help manufacturers who make parbaked goods to create products for themselves as well,” he highlighted. For example, as many bakers don’t have a fryer in the kitchen, but they have an oven, donuts can be adapted. This is why donuts are often sold in Europe as a frozen product in bakeries and small bakeries.
Bridor celebrated its 35th anniversary in America in September at IBIE. At the show, Louise Jasmin, marketing director, announced new plant investments. Details were since released, that Bridor would be investing USD200m in its Boucherville, Canada and Vineland, U.S. production plants. For the French specialist, the future is organic and vegan: “We are looking at organic and vegan products for the future; a challenge for us is that we use large amounts of flour and organic producers are mostly smaller. The consumers are more knowledgeable now and they like to share their food; Gen-Z especially is the first generation spending more money on food than other items like clothes. They are driving us to create; the new generation likes bold and ethnic flavors in particular,” she told us.
The frozen bakery segment remains an important one and is identified among those holding opportunities for future industry growth. “Frozen bread is very convenient, so it is very firmly installed in developed countries. We see more and more projects for this in all countries where people eat crusty bread – namely, in French-speaking countries, and in Spanish, Portuguese regions; I see huge opportunities for frozen bread products,” Olivier Sergent, Mecatherm CEO, told Frozen Food Europe.
Parbaked products are among opportunities driving the segment, he anticipated, while some bread specialties are well suited for freezing fully baked. “The more we go with fermented dough, the more we go with artisan bread, the more we can go in fully-baked frozen specialties,” Sergent added. Products with more water, more fermented dough, can be baked up to 90-95%, instead of just 60-70%, he explained. “It is better and more convenient, so we are now leaning more and more towards fully-baked frozen products. For this, we provide the right equipment along the production chain; it’s in how you divide, how you proof, how you bake with equipment adapted for this kind of goods. If you want to have a product that handles freezing well, you should bake it at high temperatures over a short time. That is why I am promoting the gas ovens for this; ovens meant for gentle baking are not adapted for fully-baked frozen foods.”
The next IBIE will be held September 17-21, 2022.