The Las Vegas Baking Expo has recently closed its biggest rendition in nearly a century, with baker participation increasing nearly 10% over the previous edition. From September 7 to 11, the show was packed with innovation, opportunities for inspiration in all aspects of the baking business, competitions, virtual tours, and the industry’s most comprehensive education lineup known as IBIEducate.
The record-breaking show’s attendance number paint a picture of a prosperous industry: nearly 1,000 exhibitors, 237 of whom new to IBIE, attended IBIE and welcomed visits from over 20,000 professionals on and the largest show floor in its 100-year history. Much of the growth has come from international markets, organizers report, with attendees from more than 100 countries making up nearly 30% of the total attendance; the largest participation came from Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Japan, and Mexico.
The event stepped into a global level of interest straight from its official opening, with the announcement of a strategic partnership between IBIE and its European counterpart, iba. The exclusive global marketing partnership between the two leading trade fairs marks a collaboration meant to support the growth of the global baking industry. With combined resources, the two complementary triennial events will work to increase brand awareness, enhance market penetration across emerging markets of mutual interest, and work to enhance educational experiences and offerings at both events. “We want to look to the future and increase the business for all of you together with iba in Munich and IBIE in Las Vegas,” said Dieter Dohr, GHM-iba president and CEO, at the Las Vegas opening event.
The Future Is Interactive
IBIE has showcased a living industry throughout the show floor, with fully functional demonstrations encompassing everything from technology to techniques, to-do guides, and virtual experiences. “IBIE continues to provide the platform for the entire baking community to gather and celebrate the vibrancy of this industry, innovative trends and digital automation technologies, advances in baking processes and the thousands of bakers and support services who have a passion and commitment to the success of this industry,” said Joe Turano, IBIE chairman. “IBIE is focused on meeting the professional and business needs of every attendee. We take pride in crafting content that is cutting edge, interactive, engaging and thought-provoking. With a sold-out show floor, we experienced innovations and exciting technology that will lead this industry into the future. I know that we are leaving feeling reenergized and recharged with fresh insights and new relationships to cultivate.”
Virtual reality offered the opportunity to observe how leading bakeries utilize their ingredients, equipment, technologies, and solutions found on the IBIE show floor. Two bakeries from Kentucky have joined the iba.Virtual Bakery Tours, a feature with 10 viewing stations that has garnered interest from visitors who lined up to visit artisan and industrial bakeries from Cincinnati, San Francisco, Reykjavik, Vienna, Versailles, Athens and more. Klosterman Baking’s plant was one of the new additions – a facility manufacturing bread, buns, and donuts. More Than A Bakery also opened its virtual doors into its newest cookie facility.
The Innovation Showcase returned for the second time at IBIE, with more entries than in 2016 and prominently featured in the Grand Concourse for attendees to see latest trends before entering the exhibit halls. The showcase included novelties in ingredients, equipment, packaging and safety products never before seen at IBIE. These included AMF Bakery Systems’ BreadFlex D3 Direct Deposit Divider, incorporating AMF’s proprietary FLEX metering pump. It comes standard with a single auger charging unit and vacuum degassing system to delicately handle slack doughs like gluten-free and rye doughs without compressing the mixture. AMF Tromp was also featured here with their Target Seed Strewer, a system that saves up to 60% of toppings required compared to other waterfall or seeding systems resulting in less waste and minimal risk of dark spots on the product. Ardent Mills was highlighted for its White Sonora Wheat, aimed for innovation and artisan baking. All the new solutions featured at the Innovation Showcase are detailed here.
The two new Artisan Marketplaces crafted by Puratos & Bread Bakers Guide of America (BBGA) respectively, housed their own virtual reality tour, samples from the world’s only Sourdough Library, and featured demos from Certified Master Bakers.
The Retail Bakers of America (RBA) Bakers Center, by Bundy Baking Solutions, hosted baking competitions and live demonstrations from some of the biggest names in the industry, including Food Network stars Buddy Valastro and Bronwen Weber.
This new state-of-the-art center also hosted the 18th annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Grand Champion Creative Decorating Competition. The Overall Winners – Sponsored by Pillsbury – are:
1st Place – Andres Enciso & Banny Ayarza, Awesome Edible Art
2nd Place – Robbyn Yuen & Ashley Spitzer, Creative Cakes Bakery
3rd Place – Robyn Hanisch & Wanda Munoz-Jovet, Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop
The education component of the fair brought for the first time an additional day of learning prior to the fair, on September 7. Courses included talent management classes with a concentration on acquiring, developing, and retaining employees and cultivating great leaders. The day also offered hands-on workshops designed for artisan bakers and hands-on cake decorating skills sessions. Throughout the four days of the IBIEducate agenda, more than 100 sessions were held in comprehensive coverage of all aspects of the industry. Here is an exclusive look at the education program, courtesy of Andrea Henderson, chair of the IBIE Education Task Force: https://www.worldbakers.com/ibieducate-class-of-2019-are-you-prepared/.
Key trends observed at the exhibitor stands included a strong focus on clean label, plant-based ingredients, technology automation, including its respective dedicated software solutions, and artisan products. At the show, Dawn Foods presented the 2020 food trends, a result of joined data from 75 global sources with context from its own 100-plus market visits to bakeries, foodservice spots, and more. The eight global food trends that will help grow bakery businesses are:
- Blissful indulgence: in a highly-connected world, people look for opportunities to disconnect and reduce stress and anxiety from always being “on”. They want a momentary escape from reality with an indulgent sweet.
- #Eatertainment: There is an experiential aspect to food that goes beyond mere sustenance, people seek ways to make eating an overall experience and a form of entertainment.
- My Food ID: Food is an expression of who we are and it communicates our story. People want to share with others as they believe you are what you eat.
- Mashup Adventure: Cross-cultural flavors with surprising combinations and twists give people a low-risk way to be adventurous and have unique sensory experiences.
- Enlightened: people seek great tasting, pure and simple products free from artificial ingredients that are loaded with nutrients to fuel their bodies and support a health-conscious lifestyle.
- Transparency 360: People choose brands that offer meaningful products aligned to bigger-picture values that impact the world, such as supporting local communities, sustainable practices, and environmental impact.
- Twenty-five 7: Time is precious, and people are constantly exploring ways to save time and maximize the hours in each day. They look for easy, efficient experiences that won’t compromise food quality.
- Just for Me: One size does not fit all, all consumers expect custom experiences tailored to their individual needs to make them feel known, understood and important.
The upcoming issue of European Baker & Biscuit magazine (September/October) will include details from our team’s visits to IBIE exhibitors, with exclusive interviews, the news unveiled at the fair, views on the industry and anticipations for the future. Stay tuned!
IBIE will return to Las Vegas on September 17-21, 2022.