Business and Operations
Trends IBA 2006
By Nicola Stevens
By Nicola Stevens
Nicola Stevens, Development Officer for Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, walked the miles of aisles and filed this report.
The international bakery and confectionery tradeshow organized by the German Bakers’ Confederation – IBA – held every three years in Germany, was at Munich’s Messestadt trade fair grounds this past October. With almost 1,000 exhibitors from around the world, IBA represents what is new in the world of commercial baking from leading-edge equipment large and small, to new products and processes, and innovative ingredients and services.
In equipment, it was energy efficiency, driven by the Europeans, whose costs for electricity and gas are several times higher than ours. Packaging featured cleaner labels, and products promoted “natural” ingredients, preservative-free, reduced salt, and higher quality, such as smoother dough. For ingredients, there was excitement over amaranth and quinoa as two new “functional” flours, along with the availability of other functional ingredients. And, for the retail baker, it was expanded product offerings, including coffee and snacks.
The recurring trends repeated throughout displays, brochures and new product offerings can be summed up in three words: convenience, wellness and indulgence.
Dawn Foods launched a line of single serving products with a five-day shelf life under the name of Adore, with products such as a high quality brownie or an orange mascarpone muffin. The company views healthy foods as a distinct trend, with an emphasis on increasing fibre and decreasing sugar content – indulgence with a wellness component.
Puratos featured their Great Taste & Wellness product lines, including breads, cakes, croissants and chocolates. A cholesterol-lowering bread with beta-glucans and oat bran was new. The senior research manager at Puratos indicated their upcoming products will focus on the glycemic index – a concept developed in Canada, but more widely recognized in other countries such as Australia and the U.K. Another focus will be on satiety – products that leave us feeling fuller for longer.
Independent bakeries are differentiating themselves through expanding their product and service offerings to include coffee bars and even restaurants. The artisan baker is becoming the barista, in keeping with the emphasis on the craft of food preparation. The product offering is growing by tapping into the convenience trend of snacking. The phrase “bakery sushi” is being used to describe the mini-products appearing on the shelves. These are all tactics used by the bakery to retain and expand its customer base in the changing world of retail food.
Although the European bakery industry is different from Canada’s, many of the equipment and trends begin there that impact us here in North America.