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südback on course for strong comeback

südback confirms its support for in-person events as preparations are in full swing for this year’s edition, which will be held once again from October 22 to 25. While organizers and industry representatives agree on the value of digital tools in an industry burdened by staff shortages, the return of the trade fair in Stuttgart is highly-anticipated, according to information provided in a press conference held in the city. Messe Stuttgart plans to organize 90% of its events live, with 10% providing digital options, said Stefan Lohnert, President, Landemesse Stuttgart GmbH.

Stefan Körber, Managing Director of the Württemberg, Baden, Hesse and Southwest German Regional Associations of Bakers’ Guilds, provided an overview of the industry at the conference: “südback was established in 1978 in order to create a trade fair for craft bakeries where they could obtain information about new machines, tools, raw materials, services and trends in their industry. Future-oriented technical programs and technical talks have always been associated with these trade fairs and still are today.

For the last two years, the bakery trade at home and abroad has been unable to meet at a national industry trade fair. It was shown during this period that a great deal is possible both digitally and virtually. However, it was also clearly revealed that many people regard real encounters and personal communication as irreplaceable. We are therefore delighted that the 29th südback will open its doors in October 2022.”

Exhibitors can still register for the trade show.

The target of the German bakery industry is to return to the previous sales figures of EUR 15 billion, he underlined. südback provides the forum to support bakeries in this pursuit, as it reaffirms itself as the most important meeting point for craft bakers in the German-speaking region. “A successful südback leads to a successful iba. iba needs südbackto be successful,” Lohnert also stressed.

Current challenges were analyzed during the press event, particularly those related to the lack of new skilled workers to join the industry, competition, and supply chain issues. Klaus Vollmer, Guild Master, State Association of Guild of Baden-Württemberg Confectioners also brought good news from his field: there is an increase of women joining the sector: 40% of the new Masters are women.

Looking into trends, the preference for vegan and regional products is on the rise, Körber stated. He does not anticipate flour supply issues for Germany if there is a good harvest.

Looking at the current volatile market environment, he sees information as critical – regarding changing developments as well as innovations and trends. “By visiting südback, companies in the bakery trade acquire up-to-date information firsthand that they can use to optimize and increase the quality and efficiency of their daily work,” he said. The exhibits in the five exhibition halls reflect industry developments in the areas of working and operating technology, business equipment, shop fittings, raw materials and semi-finished products, merchandise, sales promotion and services.

The Bakers’ Trend Forum

A diverse technical program will be held in the Bakers’ Trend Forum in Hall 8. Topics will focus on production, sales, marketing and cafés. The technical program will include contributions from the Academies of the German Baking Trade in Southwest Germany and Weinheim, as well as by experts known far beyond the region from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy.

A competition for apprentices will be held, as an incentive for newcomers to the industry and as an opportunity for them to improve their skills.

On Monday and Tuesday, bakery trainees (production and sales) from different vocational schools in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse and Alsace will compete in baking a sweet, yeast-based dough pastry with filling. The specialist sales staff will have to produce three different filled sandwich snacks in a specified period of time.

During the Bakers’ Trend Forum, management consultants and legal experts from the Württemberg Regional Association of Bakers’ Guild and the Academy of the German Baking Trade in Southwest Germany will provide an extensive range of consulting services relating to operational, technical and legal matters.

Photos: F2M, 2022 südback press tour