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57,000 trade visitors attend iba 2023

Trade visitors welcomed iba’s comeback. This October, 1,073 exhibitors from 46 countries showcased their latest developments in 10 halls, for 57,000 visitors from 150 countries attending the show. The fair in Munich saw full aisles for an anticipated industry reunion. By comparison, more than 77,000 trade visitors from around 170 countries came to iba in 2018. In total, over 1,300 companies exhibited 5 years ago.

The fair focused on recruiting young talent, artisan bakery, competitions and digitalization. The iba.UIBC.Cup of Bakers 2023 was one of the special events staged at the Messe Munich Lin Yeqiang and Feng Yingjie from China won the gold medal. Yeon Sunheum and Han Doyoung from South Korea secured the confectioners’ title on October 26, 2023. 

A robot in the bakery, a vending machine that is open 24/7, a BrotHaus branch that shows how personal consultation and self-service can be combined without sales staff and a branch of tomorrow with purchase recognition and cashless payment. These were just some of the digital solutions on display at this year’s world fair. The exhibitors at iba presented visitors with the entire spectrum of digitalization – from concrete practical examples that can already be implemented in the branches today to options for the future. “From vision to realization – our goal was to offer ‘digitalization at your fingertips’. We ensured this through the focus theme and product range, but also through our new iba.DIGITALISATION AREA, where the theme was brought to life,” says Susann Seidemann, Exhibition Director of iba.

Other visitor highlights included the iba.ACADEMY, the iba BackStage young talent days, the iba.CONFECTIONERY TEC AREA, the company tours as well as the iba.TOURS and the iba.OKTOBERFESTZELT.  

Organizer’s take

Michael Wippler, President of the German Bakers’ Confederation, comments on the show’s success: “In addition to competitions with excellent talent and a successful introduction of the National Award of Honor, the topic of young talent was particularly close to our hearts this year. We had trainees on-site at the BackStage young talent days, met vocational school classes and talked to bakers about our ‘Back dir Deine Zukunft’ campaign. We want to whet young people’s appetites for artisan bakery, and iba was the best place for that. For me, this fair was also a personal highlight – because it is my last iba in my function as President of the German Bakers’ Confederation. The fair was a complete success and that makes me all the more happy. A special thanks to all exhibitors and organizers of the trade fair.”

“iba sets the standards nationally and internationally for the baking industry and is a trendsetter and source of inspiration. We successfully proved that again in 2023: nowhere else are such product depth and such diverse innovation visible. This is also reflected in the phenomenal decision-maker rate at the fair. Thank you so much to all who helped to organize this trade fair. Above all, a special thank you goes to Mr. Wippler for all the years of trusting and very goal-oriented cooperation,” said Dieter Dohr, Chair of the Management Board of GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH.

Exhibitors’ perspective

Lex van Houten, Regional Marketing Manager AMF Bakery Systems, shares: “We are very happy to be at iba. We were very excited to get here because it was over five years ago already and we are meeting a lot of familiar faces and a lot of new faces. We hope to have success after the show. This is where the bakery and the food industry meet – so iba is the place to be for AMF. On top of that, we got an award for two of our innovations including the hydrogen oven, so it couldn’t be better.”

Paul Groenewegen, Managing Director of Rademaker Germany, support for the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and Denmark, also adds: “For us, iba was a very successful exhibition. From the first day, we had many company owners and managing directors at our stand. From international visitors to decision-makers, customers from the industrial sector, but also lots of visitors from medium-sized companies and family businesses. New for us this year: although we are a machine manufacturer and plant builder with worldwide exports, we have decided to put a clear focus on baked goods for the first time. We have up to seven master bakers on site for this. Two-thirds of the stand shows bread, croissants, Danish pastries and much more, because ultimately – at the end of the day – it’s about the baked end product, that’s what people want to see, and what our customers sell. Visitors are looking for quality, want to stand out from direct competitors and we want to support them with the right technology.”

Veronika Grebner, Head of Administration/CFO at cetravac vacuum baking & cooling, says: “We are really satisfied with the trade fair, we think our stand location is well chosen. We were also at iba in 2018, where we had a large proportion of international visitors – but our main customer area is still the DACH region. This year, with the stand in hall A3 focussing on trade, about 95% of the customers we wanted to address were here. Through the location and our marketing activity in the run-up, we definitely reached the target group. We were in talks with many decision-makers and our topic of vacuum cooling and vacuum baking is extremely well received. This really is a very new topic. Some of the customers are really surprised and also convinced after their visit of how bread can be baked fresh ‘again’.”

“We are very happy that iba has finally taken place again. For us, this is the leading trade fair and it really ran very successfully in 2023. We saw all our important customers again. After the pandemic, there was a whole backlog of information. I think we were able to give the visitors good insights and show how we have always developed despite the limitations of the last few years. At the trade fair, we also noticed that digitalisation in particular has made great strides and how important it is to serve the market in this area as well. Customers are also aware of this and are therefore much more open to the topic than they were, for example, five years ago at the last iba,” comments Carola Landhäuser, Managing Director of WP BAKERYGROUP. 

“We are enthusiastic trade fair participants and have had a fantastic few days with very high-quality visits from decision-makers as well as very interesting discussions here at the iba.DIGITALISATION AREA. Our conclusion: we are absolutely overwhelmed by the quality and variety of visitors we have had at our new space and are already looking forward to iba 2025 in Düsseldorf,” David Holzwarth, Member of the Management Board of Shop-IQ, also shares.

Photo: Food2Multimedia