Dating back to ancient times, bread has been a universal staple of life in every corner of the world—nourishing us, comforting us, and bringing us together. The unifying power of bread was especially apparent at iba in Munich, Germany last month, where visitors from 167 countries walked the show floor looking for the newest trends and technologies in baking. Since global growth is a key priority for IBIE (aka the International Baking Industry Exposition), the team expanded its footprint onsite, met with dozens of international partners, spotted trends, and spread the word about our 2019 event.

Iba is always held about one year in advance of IBIE, so it’s a great opportunity to touch base with international partners. For the first time, IBIE event producers arranged a roundtable discussion with the International Association of Plant Bakeries (AIBI), an association that represents 28 member countries across Europe. The group discussed common challenges, including consumption trends, zero waste initiatives and changes in the workforce. Members of the leadership teams will continue the dialogue at IBIE 2019 as they work together to advance the global grain-based foods industry.

IBIE also met with several of our international counterpart associations and media partners to solidify important agreements around both global marketing and education. Meetings were held against the backdrop of the newly upgraded IBIE Lounge, located within the U.S. Pavilion. IBIE’s presence also extended outside the Lounge as visitors could literally rise up the IBIE-branded stairs. They also donned IBIE-branded “Tyrolean” German hats at the iba Oktoberfest party. Lastly, IBIE shared some educational content from their world-renowned IBIEducate program at the iba SPEAKERS CORNER.

The show floor gave us a taste of what we might see at IBIE 2019. Digitization in baking was a key focus area, with applications including digital diagnostics, maintenance, scheduling, and performance and analytics tracking. Many exhibitors offered tools that allow for remote access, and there was also an increased emphasis on scaled artisan baking and in-booth hospitality. On the ingredients side, we’re likely to see offerings that help reduce sugar as well as more sophisticated fat and oil solutions.

Many exhibitors were already talking about their plans to unveil their new innovations at IBIE. If iba was any indication, IBIE is on track to be a resounding success.

Next stop: MOBAC, Feb. 20-23, 2018 in Tokyo Japan.

Jorge Zárate

Global Operations Director of Grupo Bimbo

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