IBIE managed to straddle tomorrow’s concerns with technology, while respecting ancient traditions in bread and pastry-making.
By Bakers Journal
From September 7 to September 11, 2019 IBIE featured the best the international baking industry has to offer. From specialists like Lionel Vatinet who spoke of bringing artisanal bread traditions from Europe to North America, to award winning ingredient experts who revealed the latest in trends from around the world.
The show had expert speakers ranging from the nitty-gritty details of the Puratos’ international Sourdough library, where professional and amateur bakers alike could bring their unique strains to be examined and stored for posterity. The Puratos Artisan Marketplace featured new technological and marketing strategies to bringing quality bread products to clients, by showcasing a technique to personalize bread. This could be a trend for bakeries to reach a wider clientele by having web-savvy clients use “keyboard convenience” to order a loaf of bread to their specific tastes. Don’t like onions? Top the loaf with seeds of your choice. Want a brightly coloured loaf for cheery sandwiches? Let the client choose a vegetable juice for the base. Twenty-four hours later, a customized loaf is ready for your customer.
Ardent Mills showcased their lines of whole grain ingredients and mixes, demonstrating the growing interest for bakers who want to provide organic and clean label products. IREKS unveiled their line of gluten free options for bakers who want to provide an allergy-free bakery experience. Callebaut unveiled its famous RB1 “Ruby Couverture” to bakers looking to add pink chocolate to their confections. The Canadian branches of these international companies focused on premium ingredients, high quality sources and fine product finishes for more discerning customers.
RBA’s Creative Cake Decorating Competition crowned the winners for the cake decorating industry. Canada was made proud with the third place win from Sudbury, ON’s own Guilty Pleasures Bakey + Bar coming in third place with an award in the Sculpted Cake category. It’s not every day a cake is decorated with a mechanized ski lift, but Justine Martin and Josée Frappier created magic with fondant and buttercream, transforming a cake in to a Canadian winter scene to the delight of arid, desert-dwelling Arizona cake lovers.
Best In Baking Industry Awards honoured captains of industry for issues such as sustainability, supply chain innovations and workforce development. The panel of judges were: Len Heflich, Founder, Innovation for Success, LLC; Mike Pierce, President, The Austin Co.; Tim Ramsey, Senior Director, Procurement and Commercialization Hearthside Food Solutions; and Gina Reo, President, Quality Assurance Strategies, LLC.
The overall experience was about more than what was seen on the showroom floor. The international baking industry expo revealed a wealth of information in a wide variety of fields, from concerns like trying to wrangle those who want high fibre breads but fear gluten, or how to deal with the “Anti-Grain Tribes.”
The Fresh Talks discussed ways that business owners could engage people with sometimes irrational fears of foods, fad diets, and pseudo-science. In Vance Crowe’s talk, “Anti-Grain Tribes: Who They Are & How to Reach Them,” advised bakeries in navigating the often hostile world of online chat forums or social media.
The online world is a complicated one, from those just jumping into the entrepreneurial waters of eCommerce, or wanted to know more about block-chain, but IBIE 2019 covered almost every field.
Sourdough had multiple platforms of discussion ranging from its versatility to its purported health benefits; Discussions on enzymes, and conditioners were breached from ingredient companies, and the future of artisanal bread was explored with discussions about automation. The preservation of bread strains were presented through the Puratos Sourdough Library, as well.
Difficult issues like health and nutrition are made even more complex with the prohibition on cannabis products lifted in the U.S.; Bakers Journal attended a talk on how to incorporate CBD (non-psychotropic element in cannabis) or THC (the psychotropic element in cannabis) into baking. Janice Newell Bissex, a culinary nutritionist and dietician advised clients on proper cannabinoid rations, dosing and best consumption methods. Julie Berliner of Sweet Grass Kitchen spoke of how her company jumped bureaucratic hurdles to start legally selling cannabis-infused baked goods, with helpful advice on how to start baking when legislation changes on a nearly day-to-day frequency.
Missy and Lionel Vatinet discussed about how they are consulting the best bakeries in the world to bring the tradition of local grains to Americans’ tables, while discussions by functional ingredient suppliers discussed ways to help bakers combine healthy with indulgent baking.
Technology was evident at nearly every booth and talk. Branding and social media had several talks dedicated to helping bakers promote themselves and their goods.
IBIE’s educational session “The Art of Creating a $7 Cupcake” focused not on the art behind the craft of artisanal cupcakes, but how to use social media as way to create a brand to justify and promote your upscale baked goods.
With the growing use of social media as an advertising platform, to learning how to navigate online platforms as a way to find inspiration and generate buzz around your bakery. Janelle Copeland, the owner of The Cake Mamas used her own experience as a bakery owner as well as a brand strategist to draw from a well of examples of online and in-store promotional and marketing tips.
From discussions on vertical farming for restaurants to offering options for clients to customize orders online, IBIE managed to straddle tomorrow’s concerns with technology, while respecting ancient traditions in bread and pastry-making.