Exclusive Interviews: Exhibitors Say iba 2018 Was Beyond Expectations

Months and even years of preparations have played out and have paid off: the success of the triennial event met and surpassed anticipations, according to exhibitors I have talked to. They share their innovations, plans, and views on the market.

Tromp Group, Erik Smink

Marketing, communication & international exhibitions

  • We saw great potential at iba this year, with many visitors from all over the world, especially from the Middle East and South America. Well prepared visitors! As Tromp Group presented a special theme, “It’s Pizza Time”, most visitors appreciated this straightforward message.
  • At Tromp Group, we are working on the complete update from our Test Center. Besides that, we will take the next step in the journey of Convergence. We see convergence among customers as an increasing number of industrial bakers look to bring artisan-type of bread into their product portfolio. We see convergence among equipment suppliers as bakers demand production solutions that are both ‘best-in-class’ but also offer increasing levels of integration. Sister companies, Reading Bakery Systems is placing a continues mixer in the new Test center, while AMF Bakery Systems is installing an extruding bun dividing system to better demonstrate these technologies to European bakers.
  • We have experienced great success with our integrated pizza lines recently. This is also a great example of convergence where we can either offer a Tromp sheeted dough solution or a dough dividing solution using AMF’s FLEX technology. Either solution ensures seamless integration within the Tromp Group control system. This flexibility allows the customers to choose the technology that best supports their product presentation without losing the integrated solution.

RONDO, Jörg Sonnabend 

Manager marketing communications

  • This year, RONDO is celebrating the company’s 70th anniversary. It has been a great year for us; one highlight at iba was the RONDO ARTISANA line, for the industrial production of artisanal bread and rolls. We have already had the first installations of this lines and we have great feedback from customers. Among biggest trends currently, we observe now are wet/sticky doughs and IoT.
  • The IoT will become a much wider application; we have such features on big equipment, but now we are looking into adding them to smaller equipment, with a capacity of 1 -2 tons.
  • We specialize in multifunctional lines; we are proud to be able to produce every type of different products we see anywhere in the world. We develop equipment for any type of product. We also help innovative ideas be applied to different markets, with our equipment solutions: a zebra croissant originally made in Israel, for example; it is now available in many other markets in the world.

Sveba Dahlen, Åsa Ericsson

Marketing manager 

  • This year has been really good for Sveba Dahlen, on our 70th anniversary, and we have all the signs of a very bright future. We have a new visual identity of our company, which was very well received by our customers.
  • At iba, we have launched the Sveba Connect solutions, which is a cloud solution that can help bakers monitor all the bakery’s connected ovens online, and collect information about usage and performance through real-time statistics and data, regarding the ovens’ energy consumption, shutdown and running times. The data can be used to calculate running costs, optimize procedures, improve profitability, and ensure quality.
  • Services such as Sveba Connect are the future for bakeries. We collaborate with the Middleby group to provide a wide range of products and services. We have also introduced new ovens and updated ovens, with core temperature measurement – a feature that our customers have requested.

Handtmann, Thomas Ott

Head of sales organization   

  • We participated for the first time at iba in 2015, as relative newcomers, with a limited number of solutions and little practical experience. We can definitely say for this year that we have made great progress as to our practical expertise in different applications. In addition, we now have a full range of depositing and forming equipment to allow for a wide range of applications; we are much better “settled” in the market. We have now a number of interesting and valuable references in the market, machines we have sold over the past three years that help us demonstrate we’re a serious partner for bakery and confectionery producers.
  • All applications we showed at iba are very well performing, from dough dividing applications to dosing applications, extruding and forming applications. I believe there is a huge market all over the world for these solutions, globally. This is the range that we focus on; now the job is to conquer the market.
  • Trends observed on one market can serve as inspiration to set new trends on other markets; and cross-industry inspirations help arrive at new innovative solutions. For instance, we developed a feature for a machine specifically for meat; but we may find it is also interesting for bakery or other applications. Sometimes you can generate a trend by simply trying something new that has been established in another industry.

MECATHERM, Raymond Nogael

Group director of marketing and business development

  • In terms of business, and new contacts especially, this year at iba we’ve had a great balance in visitors coming from different regions of the world. By comparison, three years ago, we could observe more connections from European countries and North America, while now we’ve met new professionals coming from all over the world, including African or Middle East For us, this confirms that the market is very dynamic, and there are numerous ongoing and new projects all over the world, which is a good sign overall. We have identified some main trends, regarding product diversity, flexibility, and premiumization. A majority of customers are looking for this type of solutions to meet market trends.
  • We want to focus on recapitalizing on old equipment, to allow the customer to achieve the level of flexibility they require. We have recently launched the “Baguette Factory” concept and project (complete turnkey solutions for baking facilities), as well as a new concept for Industry 4.0.
  • We are also preparing to launch several Industry 4.0 commercial solutions next year and we will continue to invest in this segment. In addition, we will continue to invest in the area where we are market leaders, in equipment for crusty bread, to not only allow manufacturers to achieve premium crusty product, but also to establish our presence on markets where crusty bread products are very popular, on an industrial level.
  • We observe an evolution in functionality and an increase in the products’ quality. There are several strategies to bring added-value to customers’ production and technologies used. There is a growing focus on smart features as well as ensuring the equipment can be easily cleaned and maintained. A shortage of skilled labor still characterizes main markets, which is why technology increasingly fills this void by becoming more and more user-friendly and automated and less complex in utilization.
  • Mature markets have similar characteristics: manufacturers are mainly looking for flexibility in the line or new solutions for new products they want to develop. Characteristics they seek in baked goods include authentic, rustic, artisan-like. By comparison, we are working on the industrialization of the production on growing markets, which are now developing, like some African and Latin American countries. This mostly means an increase in quality and volume, but not more – for now. Flexibility, hygienic design are not yet major criteria here compared with the defining requirement, which is volume, volume, volume.  

Bühler, Daniel Troxler

Marketing director, Bühler AG business area consumer foods

  • iba 2018 was more successful for Bühler and Haas than 2015. The show itself did not create special surprises, but we generated more international leads than at the previous edition three years ago. The iba seems to have established itself as the main event for bakery solutions in the world.

  • iba 2018 had a special importance because Bühler and Haas have presented their solutions for the first time at one common booth. We have just begun the technical alignment of the two companies and will intensify the common solutions for the benefit of our customers. In term of processes, we will present more solutions along with complete process chains such as grain to biscuit, bread or wafer.
  • We have more requests for complete solutions and continuous mixing processes. Customers are looking more for solution providers and not machine suppliers. With the merger of Bühler and Haas, we can offer everything out of one hand which is much appreciated.
  • We supply solutions for the smaller players and the multinationals and all are relevant to us. Also geographically, we do not focus on one market. Since Bühler has 140 sales and service stations around the world, we are very close to the customer. This also means, we have to have local solutions due to the individual preferences, which has developed a special strength in our company. The technological support for developing formulations and processes.

SASA Demarle, Pierre Escarbelt

Sales and marketing director of the industrial division

  • iba 2018 has been extremely fruitful for SASA, with more business opportunities identified than in 2015. iba remains the “place to be” in the bakery industry.
  • We have just introduced at IBA this year the new non-stick coating silicone INF6001, part of our iNFiNiUM® portfolio of non-stick coating for the bakery industry. New types of proofing boards have also been introduced at iba 2018. We have a pipeline of projects that will materialize in 2019, from an industrial organization point of view and from an innovation point of view, on products and services.
  • Our core business is the supply of non-stick baking trays and proofing boards for the bakery and pastry industry. We expect the proofing boards to take more and more shares in our portfolio whereas the baking trays will remain strong.
  • We face fierce competition on all markets. Hence, there is no real geographical difference in the competition. We are only able to relieve the pressure on the margins when we come with a value proposition and a competitive advantage, which is presently the case with our new INF6001 silicone coating.
  • While remaining extremely active and close to our customers in the mature markets such as Europe, we are focusing on Americas and Africa that are in demand of quality, excellent life expectancy and robustness.
  • We have a strong network of senior representatives that listen carefully to our clients’ expectations. It feeds our New Product Development although we capture market trends through the other usual channels as well: media, conferences, etc. If you pay attention to our new logo and baseline, SASA is the “partner of the tasty bread”, meaning that our developments are only driven by the quality of the end product that will make our own customers successful!

Kaak Group, Kathy Gaalman
Marketing and communication manager

  • From Kaak’s perspective, we have been looking forward to iba, and we expect that it will overall be a better show than three years ago because we can see economies growing again, and countries that were very silent over the past years have started becoming active (i.e., Spain, Russia).
  • There is a big focus on efficiency and diversity, which is also why we have been focusing on iBakeCare, which allows the customer to monitor their performance and service levels. It is a solution we believe in for the future, that will help the customer to make the most use out of their equipment.
  • In addition, we are working on several projects – to name just one, we are looking into a better solution for baguette production. We have a new concept for baguette lines, which allows the customer to bake artisan baguette industrially. The motto “Taste Is Time” reflects this solution, with a new tray proofer concept that allows the dough to relax and gently bring the dough at the desired length. At our Baguette Inspiration Day event, taking place on November 8 at the Kaak Group Technology Center in Nieuwkuijk, the Netherlands, we will present this totally new concept in detail.
  • We have always been associated with tin bread and toast, as product segments are concerned. In Holland and the UK especially, tin bread is a very popular type of bread. Toast is also very popular, not only in Holland, but also in the Scandinavian countries, for example, and is a staple product worldwide, as well as baguettes. The pizza market is a stable, very important market for us as well. Some of the important country markets, where we anticipate growth, include France, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America, in addition to our home markets in Holland and Belgium.
  • Once an emerging trend proves promising for growth, we research it to decide if it will become a direction we will focus on. In a way, pizza is a trend as well, with all the many different styles – and we have developed techniques for it, for example. Hygiene, tracking and tracing and safety features are, on the other hand, trends we observe coming from customers, and constitute huge topics on the market currently.

Lesaffre International, Stéphan Béague


  • Our goal is to ultimately satisfy the final consumer, to meet emerging trends everywhere in the world. Our vision is global, while all markets are behaving differently in each country. The strength of Lesaffre is to consolidate this market vision and to support customers with our subsidiaries everywhere. We sell our solutions in 185 countries, and we have 63 production site and almost 40 test centers, and everywhere we have local know-how.
  • Our goal is to have premium products; quality is essential for us. We are focusing on health and nutrition in our activities. We work on specific breads, for example, looking into increasing digestibility, or gluten-free, or enriched bread aimed at senior consumers. In our overview, we always keep at the center of the arena the consumer, as you could see in our new “Trend Vision” innovations.
  • Gluten-free may be fashionable, but it is not a specific target today. Clean label is a big concern and a target in Asia, for instance, where most new launches tend to be clean label, as a response to recent food crises there. Biological products are also in our focus, but nutritional aspects are among our main priorities for product segments.

Bunge, Carsten Hoffmann

Managing Director of Westfälische Lebensmittelwerke Lindemann GmbH & Co. KG -A Bunge Company

  • For Bunge Loders Croklaan it was the first time we presented at IBA 2018. Bunge Loders Croklaan operates as the global B2B edible oils business of Bunge. In Europe it brings together Bunge, Loders Croklaan, Walter Rau, Lindemann and Kruszwica, all operating in the B2B oils and fats industry. IBA 2018 was successful for us as we launched our new product Delica Pro Gold.
  • The key drivers for innovation are health, personalization and clean label. We also see reformulation efforts, specifically related to the removal of hydrogenated fats or saturated fat reduction, which fit into the health trend. Bunge Loders Croklaan offers an unparalleled global network of technical application experts and R&D specialists and combines our strengths in both seed and tropics oils.
  • Our key industries are confectionery, bakery, culinary and infant nutrition. Bunge Loders Croklaan has a unique global footprint with more than 100 countries served.
  • Our NPD approach focuses on the end user – the consumer.  And it is also influenced by demands from our customers. With in-depth knowledge of ingredients, applications and processes, the Bunge Loders Croklaan team closely cooperates with customers to develop tailored solutions and create innovative products to differentiate them in the marketplace.

Klüber Lubrication, Jürgen Murhammer

Business development manager group industry food

  • iba was a great opportunity, with many international visitors, while three years ago they were mostly coming from the EU and particularly Germany. The visitors coming from far away are usually company high-level management representatives, while those from Europe may often be technical specialists; we see a difference in their segmentation. This perfectly matches our intentions of communication.
  • We have definitely fulfilled our expectations this year, we have reached the right contacts and made interesting connections and had great opportunities. What follows next is to create the business together with the contacts we’ve made.
  • We now have an overview of current and new opportunities in different countries, on which we will have to start working and create success.
  • We are present all over the world, and we are following opportunities arising globally, both on established and fast-growing markets.
  • We have a core team for development for the food industry all over the world, in all our production facilities, so we can respond to very specific demands.

You can find additional information in our print magazine European Baker & Biscuit (Sept/Oct 2018), out soon!

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