The International Baking Industry Exposition, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 26 through September 29, truly lived up to its tagline as the place “Where the Industry Unites.” In fact, close to 20,000 attendees gathered here, ready to take their baking businesses to the next level after the prolonged recession that filled much of the gap in the show’s three-year rotation.
Over the four days of the show, attendees flooded the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, looking for the latest equipment, ingredient and supply solutions from more than 700 industry suppliers. Several bakers commented about the record number of innovative products on display this year. Mike Beaty, IBIE vice chairman and executive vice president of supply chain for Flowers Foods, Inc., stated, “IBIE has always been known for innovation, but these exhibitors took it to a whole new level. Clearly, we have raised the bar for the next generation of baking technology and IBIE has solidified its positioning as the industry’s largest platform for new product launches.”
A common theme among exhibitors was the number of international buyers who attended the Las Vegas event. Many exhibitors stated that this was the best IBIE in history for connecting with buyers from outside the United States—buyers that many exhibitors would not have been able to reach on their own. According to Rich Hoskins, IBIE committee chair and president of Colborne Foodbotics, LLC., “Our post-show statistics prove that our international marketing efforts paid off. Nearly 30 percent of our buyers were from outside the United States, with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico and Japan bringing the largest buying contingencies.”
The show committee also made great strides in achieving one of its primary objectives: bringing the entire grain-based food industry together. The Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) held its annual two-day Technical Conference in conjunction with IBIE, almost doubling the number of participants that normally attend the meeting. Similarly, the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) completely integrated into IBIE rather than holding a standalone event. Cheryl Sherman of The Ambrosia Bakery said of the union, “To be joined with a show this big was the best thing that could have happened to RBA—and it’s the best show we’ve ever attended. Sure, there’s a lot of big-time equipment, but it’s given me a wish list and ideas on how to grow my bakery and do things I had never dreamed.”
Just as exciting as the business conducted between bakers and suppliers at IBIE were the educational opportunities presented. This year, AIB International, RBA, The Bread Bakers Guild of America, TIA, ABA and BEMA joined forces to offer the most robust, comprehensive educational conference to date. The seminar program, five times larger and broader in scope than that of the 2007 event, attracted a wide variety of participants from across the grain-based food industry. “To look at the audience and see a room that is set for 200 people completely full—with people standing along the walls—was outstanding. This confirmed the need for a strong education program,” commented Dennis Gunnell, IBIE committee member and vice president of sales and marketing for Formost Fuji Corporation.
Furthermore, IBIE, along with Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery magazine and The Long Company, honored eleven industry suppliers that have made a positive impact on the environment with its B.E.S.T. (Becoming Environmentally Sustainable Together) in Baking award. The following companies received a bamboo plaque, onsite recognition and media attention for their products or services that fostered energy conservation, a reduction in water usage, a decrease in landfill waste, healthy living and/ or a reduction of the overall impact on the environment:
Air Management Technologies, Inc.
American Pan-Bundy Baking Solutions
Bedford Industries, Inc.
Colborne Foodbotics, LLC
HFA, Inc/Handi-Foil of America
Lime Energy for Sara Lee
Sara Lee and Horizon Milling
Rich Berger, director of engineering at Sara Lee Food and Beverage, commented, “We are proud of Lime Energy for winning this award, and because sustainability is such an important part of what we do at Sara Lee, we are proud of the progress we’ve made with their help.”
Another first, IBIE played host to three of the most prestigious competitions in the industry—the Louis Lesaffre Cup, the World Chocolate Masters and the Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Creative Decorating Competition. Bakers, pastry chefs and chocolatiers from across the country and around the world demonstrated their skills and created exquisite masterpieces out of bread, cake and chocolate right on the show floor.
The winners are as follows:
Louis Lesaffre Cup:
North & Central America: USA
South America: Peru
The two winning teams were awarded with the Louis Lesaffre Cup trophy and a spot at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie (Bakery World Cup), taking place at Europain 2012 in Paris, France.
World Chocolate Masters:
1st Place: Sylvain Bortolini, assistant executive pastry chef at Bellagio Las Vegas
2nd Place: Frederic Loraschi, chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Frederic Loraschi LLC in Hummelstown, Pa.
3rd Place: Stephen Durfee, pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif.
Bortolini will now represent the United States at the prestigious 2011 World Chocolate Masters competition in Paris, where he will compete against chefs from 17 other countries, including Belgium, France, Switzerland, China, Australia and Brazil, for the title of “World Chocolate Master 2011” and a share of the prize package valued at €100,000 or approximately USD $130,000.
10th Annual Pillsbury Bakers’ Plus Creative Decorating Competition
The top three scoring individuals were awarded medals in each of the five sponsored categories. The highest overall scoring individual is named the Grand Champion and awarded the coveted Pillsbury Baker’s Plus Grand Champion Trophy, sponsored by General Mills. The winner will serve as CDC Floor Judge for the competition at RBA’s All Things Baking in 2011.
Grand Champion, sponsored by General Mills:
1st: Rita Llanso
2nd: Adam Gonsalves
3rd: Sarah Crews
Flowers and Sprays, sponsored by Chefmaster:
Gold: Cami Smith
Silver: Adam Gonsalves
Bronze: Rita Llanso
Custom Design Cakes, sponsored by DecoPac
Gold: Keeann Martineau
Silver: Sarah Crews
Bronze: Rebecca Phipps
Rolled Fondant, sponsored by Bakery Crafts:
Gold: Rita Llanso
Silver: Nancy Sepe
Bronze: Karey Barela
Sculpted Cakes, sponsored by Satin Fine Foods:
Gold: Adam Gonsalves
Silver: Keeann Martineau
Bronze: Sarah Crews
Wedding Cake, sponsored by Pfeil & Holing:
Gold: Rita Llanso
Silver: Karey Barela
Bronze: Adam Gonsalves
In 2013, IBIE will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from October 6 to October 9, 2013.