iba Goes Digital: New “Smart” Event Features

At iba, bakers and confectioners will be able to see what opportunities and possibilities that digitization can offer at the trade — and there are a lot of them.

Digitization is a trending topic at iba 2018, as a new generation is setting out to take over craft bakeries or confectioneries. The industry newcomers use digital tools to organize operations, to plan the deployment of employees, and to control production, to name just a few uses. At the trade fair, visitors will be able to learn some of the best opportunities that digitization can offer small and medium-sized companies.

This will include dialogues with top-class experts, hosted at the new iba.SPEAKERS CORNER. Among those already announced, we can look forward to seeing:

  • Oliver Bohl, Federal Association of Digital Business (BVDW) – “Modernes Digitales Marketing”
  • Peter Dräger, GREY Shopper – “POS today and tomorrow”
  • Heiko Fischer, G + F Verlags- und Beratungs- GmbH

“Every company needs customized digital solutions according to its size. That is why it is best to get advice and information at iba before making an investment. Since a system that completely connects tools from kneaders and dough dividing and rounding machines to deck ovens is still a dream of the future, bakers and confectioners of all sizes will find an incomparable variety of digital bakery solutions at iba. The spectrum ranges from suitable software and automatic cleaning or loading systems for the oven to fully automated production lines,” says Michael Wippler, President of the German Bakers’ Confederation.


Analyses and forecasts of digitally supported needs also help with planning the production and product range for the companies: which goods were and are expected to be ordered on which day, how much dough has to be prepared, which baked goods must be produced? Software solutions also allow for planning around the weather, holiday periods, and bank holidays. Together with the pre-orders, the forecasts are forwarded to the bakery and turned into a digital baking sheet.

Digital aids are also available at the counter, from touch panels to solutions for cashless payment by card or mobile phone, and will also be presented at iba. Jochen Baier, master baker, confectioner, and owner of Bäcker Baier, estimates that about 10 to 15% of his customers now make cashless payments in his bakeries, and the trend is rising.

The Digital iba Marketplace

This year, the organizers are also introducing a new digital service, through which visitors can prepare better for their specific needs before the fair and have a better overview and orientation on site. “Thanks to the new search option for ‘solution approaches’, you can quickly find, for example, innovative snack solutions, digitization, energy efficiency or raw materials that will be exhibited at iba,” the organizers explain. Additionally, by using this service, visitors will have the opportunity to contact the exhibitors directly and arrange appointments with them. Further information is available at www.marktplatz.iba.de/en. The Digital Marketplace takes over the functionalities of the mobile app used in 2015, and is fully responsive for mobile devices in this respect, the organizers tell us.

Claudia Weidner, iba project manager, explains the new and vital service for WorldBakers: “You can browse the solution directory to see who offers which solution for which questions, mark favorites on the hall map and set up appointments with exhibitors.”

Virtual Tours

Among other new exciting features at this year’s iba are the virtual tours, a multimedia experience, taking place in Hall B3.

In Hall B3.330, at the booth of the Deutsches Brotinstitut, 12 Oculus GO glasses and lounge chairs are waiting in a circular rotunda for us to take a virtual journey around the world. The trade fair premiers a true multimedia experience with virtual tours that will allow visitors to look inside top German and international bakeries. With the help of virtual reality glasses and 360-degree videos, we will be able to gain complete access into renowned master bakeries from Germany, Greece, Iceland, Austria, Japan or the USA directly at the fair. iba’s project manager anticipates:

“I have already seen the first films and can promise you this: It will be amazing.”

In alphabetical order, here is a preview inside the bakeries:

  • Athens: Apollonion Bakery

Vasilios Evangelou founded the Apollonion Bakery in 1965. All 23 branches are in Athens, the production is located in Koropi, about 40 km away. Fresh products are always available, all of which are baked in the shop during “live front baking”.

  • Dusseldorf: Hinkel Bakery

Founded in Dusseldorf in 1891, the “bakery of bread lovers” is the fourth generation of the family-owned bakery today. They represent the traditional baking in pure handicraft and work sustainably with natural sourdoughs.

  • San Fransisco: Tartine Bakery

Every day, long queues form in front of Chad Robertson’s bakery in San Francisco. Founded in 2002, Tartine Bakery has long been an institution in the Mission District with its baked goods, sweet specialties, and snacks. “We have a full-day bakery, café, restaurant, bar and ice-cream shop,” explains Robertson. And the visitors are always right in the center of the action. “The entire production takes place behind glass. Customers can watch how everything is made and prepared.” Baking takes place throughout the day, so there are always fresh, warm baked goods straight from the oven. “That has become one of our trademarks.” He attaches great importance to creativity and is always looking for new recipes, ingredients, and ideas. He learned that from friends who work as chefs. “They’re always looking for something new and love experimenting,” he says. The iba.Virtual Bakery Tours is one of the ways in which he wants to introduce this enjoyment into the baking community.

  • Stuttgart-Herrenberg: Baier Bakery

Since 1835, very special breads and pastry are produced at the Baier Bakery in Stuttgart-Herrenberg, according to the fair’s organizers. This is where the quality of baked goods begins on the field: the entire cereal comes from one of the oldest biodynamic agriculture farms (“Demeter” cultivation) in the region.

Jochen Baier is the sixth-generation owner of Bäcker Baier. The business can only survive in the baked goods market if it becomes a brand, he feels. This is why, in 2016 Baier opened a new bakery with a shop and café, which combines the 180-year baking tradition of his family with the latest technology. Bread and bakery products are baked here daily for his shops and for organic markets, butchers, and restaurateurs. Baier relies on good raw materials and ancient grains from the region. “We work with one of the oldest farms in BadenWürttemberg, which grows the grain for us. Old varieties that hardly exist today,” he says. His highlights include traditional specialties such as pretzel rolls. For those who would like to meet the bakers in real life as well: They will be in the iba.SPEAKERS CORNER in Hall A1 on Sunday, September 16, from 3.30 p.m. to 4.25 p.m.

  • Reykjavik: Sandholt Bakery

Ásgeir Sandholt is the fourth generation running the Sandholt Bakery in the heart of Reykjavik. The bakery was founded in 1920 by his great-grandfather and is one of the oldest existing bakeries in Iceland. For Ásgeir Sandholt, who grew up around this bakery and today is one of the best bakers and confectioners in the world, this heritage is an obligation. Because he remembers traditions and relies on real craftsmanship to surprise his customers again and again with new ideas. Sandholt Bakery specialties include sourdough breads, pastries, and cakes. There are also homemade lemonades, craft beers, and pasta. “It is important to me that everything is made authentically and honestly. Therefore, we prepare everything ourselves, processes have not been shortened and no baking mixes are used.”

  • Vienna: Joseph Brot

Out of dedication and passion for bread, Joseph Weghaupt founded the bakery Joseph Brot in 2009. All products are 100% organic; the bakers pay attention to long dough rest, and everything is handcrafted.

In this factory, doughs are kneaded unhurriedly using stroking motions. This captures good air inside the dough. This implies 100% manual labor, as well as organic ingredients from Austria, and lots of time and passion, all standing behind the concept of Brotmanufaktur [bread manufactory]. “It’s not about price, only about enjoyment and quality,” Weghaupt says. Double baking makes his bread particularly unique: “For me, the crust is pure taste, so we bake our bread twice. This gives us a crust that stays crispy for a very long time.” He now owns four other branches in Vienna, where he is one of the most popular bakers.

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