Germany’s iba baking expo concluded with 76,000 visitors and $3.4 billion in trade fair contracts

The iba baking and snack trade fair, held in mid-September in Munich, was visited by 76,800 people, including Food and Beverage Industry News.

In its 24th year, iba drew to a close with trade fair contracts worth $3.4 billion (€2.1b) and 1,373 exhibitors packing up after the five-day event.

Trade visitors were particularly interested in testing new products and the presentation of innovations in production technology, raw materials, and shop-fitting.

CEO of Gesellschaft for Handwerksmessen, Dieter Dohr, said iba is the icing on the industry’s cake.

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“Iba did not disappoint in the slightest. Nowhere else is such a product depth to be experienced and discovered,” said Dohr.

The fair showed trends in the industry, with the focus being on the main topic – digitisation.

Digital products were exhibited at the majority of the trade fair stands.

Both exhibitors and visitors saw digital solutions and processes, new business models and product safety as the key developments for their sector. This was the result of a survey of the 1,373 exhibitors and trade visitors.

The bakers and confectioners surveyed particularly appreciated the 360-degree view of the future.

With the help of virtual reality glasses and 360-degree videos, they travelled to innovative bakeries in Germany, Greece, Iceland, Austria, and the USA .

There were also more than 100 lectures on topics such as trends, digitisation and improving business.

The aim was for the audience to not only have the opportunity for personal exchange with experts, but to also gain practical know-how of topics that significantly influence the industry.

President of the German Bakers’ Confederation Michael Wippler said the diversity seen at the trade fair was unique.

“In addition to iba’s unbelievable internationality, this year, our stand managed to offer a perfect place for bakers to network with their colleagues from all over the world.

“The stand was a lively centre for creative work, collegial exchange, and information,” said Wippler.

President of the International Union of Bakers and Confectioners, Antonio Arias, said it was a chance for bakers to see what will be important in the future.

“I see for the upcoming three years, for example, that the worldwide industrial bread production is growing with a focus on sourdough, long fermentation, and process quality,” said Arias.

“My personal highlight were the two competitions for bakers and the Junior World Championship of Confectioners.

“Choosing the best among such great professionals is not an easy task. Every visitor saw in the last days, on the one hand, wonderful and extraordinary work, on the other hand, the future of the bakery and confectionery sector,” said Arias.

The next iba is set to take place in Munich in October 2021.