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There were 3,120 specialist companies in the confectionery trade in Germany last year, with 68,520 employees (incl. entrepreneurs and apprentices). However, the number of apprentices has dropped by 4.7%, compared with the previous year, according to a statement from Klaus Vollmer, Guild Master, State Association of Guilds of Baden-Württemberg Confectioners, with the occasion of press tour organized before südback trade fair.

Regional and medium-sized companies, whereby family-run companies prevail, characterize the confectionery trade. In the vast number of confectioneries, the shop business and the café are affiliated with the bakery.

Looking at a period of five years, the number of confectionery businesses entered on the Register of Craftsmen rose slightly year on year. One reason for the only slight increase in the number of operating companies is the insufficient number of business start-ups, according to Vollmer.

One of the main problems of the industry is the number of apprentices, which has dropped by about 4.72% overall compared with the previous year. In 2016, the confectionery trade offered a qualified training opportunity to 5,015 young people nationwide: 4,196 confectioners and 819 sales assistants. The demographic change also did not stop at the training situation in the confectionery trade: The number of vacancies fell slightly by 2.01% and the number of trainees dropped 18% vis-a-vis 2015, according to the information presented by Vollmer.

“The confectionery trade needs qualified employees today and in the future owing to the products and services it offers which satisfy high quality requirements. Young people who enjoy lively and creative jobs thus have an opportunity to successful shape their future with an apprenticeship to become a sales assistant or confectioner in the cake-shop/café,” he said. 

In the last two years, the number of master's certificates completed rose again. In 2016, the number of master's certificates climbed to its highest level in the last 10 years at 245. Because of this, there was also no new need for highly qualified personnel in the medium term. In addition, business start-up opportunities were very limited owing to the partly high investment sums and urban issues. Furthermore, the slight drop in the number of apprentices and trainees also played a significant role.

The bakery trade in figures

At the beginning of the year, 1,792 bakeries were entered in the Register of Craftsmen of the Chamber of Trade in Baden-Württemberg. On the same date, there were 11,737 bakeries in Germany. One of the biggest challenges facing bakeries is finding apprentices and trainees, both in production and sales, according to the statement from Andreas Kofler, president of the State Association of Guilds of Württemberg Bakers.

At the same time, the companies must also consider an increasingly competitive environment. Here the individual business can only be successful if it offers top performances in production and sales.

The topic "Digitalization and its effects on the bakery trade" is a new and additional challenge for the entire industry. Besides many changes in production, there will be in particular new communication channels in the interaction between sales and the customers.

Kofler also announced that the Bakers' Trend Forum at südback 2017 will be held in Hall 1 and will feature a diverse and current program from the areas of production, sales, marketing and café in the bakery trade is once again presented to the trade fair visitors. The program includes a broad range of baking demonstrations and sales pitches, as well as expert talks on current topics in the bakery trade. The specialist program will be presented by, among others, the Academies of the German Baking Trade in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Weinheim, as well as well-known experts from Germany, France and Italy. On Monday and Tuesday apprentices in the bakery trade (production and sales), from several vocational schools in Baden-Württemberg, present their regional specialties.

Demonstrations in the BÄKO ideas bakery

The BÄKO ideas bakery is being used more intensively than in previous years as a forum for demonstrations, practical tips and application examples. The specialists of the BÄKO ideas bakery demonstrate new and tried-and-tested raw materials, provide suggestions and recipe instructions for a particularly trendy range of bakery products, and process selected ingredients, such as ancient grains, organic flours and the refining ingredients, but also fine confectionery products such as fruit purées and chocolate glazes, according to Holger Knieling, managing director, BÄKO-Zentrale Süddeutschland.

As an economic organization in the bakery trade, BÄKO currently recognizes a key challenge for the bakery trade: How can the attractiveness of the bakery trade be increased for the younger generations? This relates both to the search for young talent and to securing these age groups as potential customers. The Advertising Association of the German Bakery Trade is active in the recruitment of young professionals and fully supports bakeries. This is also an important reason why the Advertising Association is intensifying its activities for südback and will now be represented at the BÄKO stand with an information center for a direct dialogue with the bakery trade. “We welcome this initiative and also continue to pledge our full support,” said Knieling,

südback in figures

The previous edition of südback, in October 2016, saw top ratings in terms of exhibitors and exhibition space, and a new record in trade visitors (38,651), according to Ulrich Kromer von Baerle, president /CEO of Landesmesse Stuttgart, südback organizer.

“As we can see, südback's growth potential has not yet peaked and we are again heading for record results. Currently the area reserved with around 700 (2016: 691) exhibitors and 100% hall occupancy for Südback 2017 is booked out. Three months to go before the start of the trade fair and we already have a long waiting list of interested exhibitors. We are currently planning with all available space, including the foyer areas and we are confident that this year we will succeed in attracting a record 40,000 trade visitors to the fair,” he said.

This year, südback takes place on September 23-26, in Stuttgart, Germany. 

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südback Becomes More International

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