More than 70,000 bakers, pastry chefs and confectioners converged in Munich in September for the iba world market. Australian Baking Business takes a look at a few of the major trends that arose from the event, and the innovative business people who are putting them in to action.
Which big trends is the baking sector gearing up for? What innovative technology opportunities are there for bakers to take advantage of? Is access to food a right or a pipe-dream?
These are just a few of the hard-hitting questions that were debated at iba-summit’s Global Baking Dialogue, held a day prior to the start of the landmark event.
Chaired by nutrition and food science researcher Professor Dr Hannelor Daniel, and presented by a number of internationally renowed speakers – including the EU-Commissioner John Dalli, president of the International Union of Bakers Peter Becker, and former executive director of the United Nations Environment Program Professor Klaus Töpfer – specialist topics such as food safety and new technology certainly held a lot of weight.
“iba is essential for setting trends like no other within the industry,” said Dieter Dohr, chief executive officer of GMH – a German-based skilled trade fair company.
“It is inspiring to see that the topic of bread spans the world, and is so multi-faceted.”
Australian bakery owner and iba world cup team mentor Brett Noy spoke to a number of international bakers while in Munich, and acknowledged skill shortages are among the most significant issue bakers around the world.
“Clearly, the industry needs more real skills – not just putting stuff into mixes, mixing it together and bringing it out,” Brett said.
“So moving foward, the international industry has to ask, ‘How do we get real understanding back?’. The answer is simple, but to make it actually happen is often much more complicated.”
After visiting several German bakeries, Brett said he and other delegates were impressed by how the local baking industry had improved over the past decade, largely due to the establishment of specialist bakery schools.
“The schools employ German master bakers and apprentices begin their training before they even leave school,” Brett said.
“It is a very thorough training system. German was one of the few countries at iba that weren’t complaining about a lack of skilled and enthusiastic baking professionals.”
Brett also identified semi-automated small-scale bakeries as a major strength in the German market.
“In Germany, bakeries are far more automated then their Australian counterparts. I’m only talking about small automation, but it’s just enough to make a real difference to the business.”
“Yet at the same time, these businesses are still making sure they remain very hands-on in the right areas.
“If they’re baking pretzels, they are doing a lot of pretzels. If they’re making doughnuts, they making a lot of doughnuts. If they’re doing kaiser rolls, they’re doing a lot of kaiser rolls – get the point? They’ve got semi-automated mini-plants and their pumping the stuff out. They deal with far bigger volume than what we do,” Brett says.
Acknowleging Australia’s limited manufacturing capacity, as well as the distance needed to transport equipment, were holding the industry back this sort of product, Brett said the discussions needed to be brought back home.
“Over in Germany, most of the equipment is made in Germany or in Italy or France, so the cost is so much more affordable than it is here,” Brett says.
“Nonetheless, the Australian baking industry will need to deal wtih these pricing and logistic issues, otherwise we won’t be able to move forward.”
GRAINS AND INGREDIENTS
The spotlight was on ingredients at iba, with their qualities promoted as vital for good product.
“It’s not about what today’s baker wants, it comes down to what today’s consumer wants and how the social and societal conditions change,” Backaldrin president Peter Augendopler said.
“So the needs of the consumer concerning bread and baked goods change accordingly.”Backaldrin presented bakery products tailored to the consumer. This included ‘night and day’ breads, with carbohydrates for the morning and protein for the evening. One of its products labelled Mamma Mia was aimed specifically at women, with a high content of iron, magnesium, calcium, folic acid and vitamin D.
Bakbel, a subsidiary of British Bakels, focused on the broad mass of consumers rather than on specific target groups.
“We designed this fruit filling and you can use it in the bakery in like Danish. You can use it also in pastries to top pastries. Or you can use it also in the kitchen. You can heat it and serve it with meat. For example a meatloaf with a cherry liquorice,” Bakbel export manager Yves Keyaerts said.
British Bakels used iba to provide market research on new product ideas.
The Wehan KG harkened back to tradition at iba by reviving “forgotten grains”.
“Inca bread might sound funny, but we have developed a bread based on ancient grains,which we broad to Europe by the Spanish and Portuguese, which we have further refined,” said Hajo Schone, marketing director at International Wehan Group.
“Inca bread has its origins in Latin America of course, and since we have established a link between Inca, Latin America and the Ancient grains, which admittedly all come from European countries, especially Austria.”
Not only Latin America, but also neighbouring foreign countries inspired innovation for Wehan Group.
“We have many local specialities which are standard in Italy ,Portugal and Spain, which also extremely interesting as a new speciality for the German market,” Hajo said.
Naturland’s organic certification attempts to provide a guarantee for customers. The certification is only provided if the product come from organic and regional cultivation and is designed to “meet the highest demands”.
“I don’t want EU minimum standards, I want premium organic,” Meyermuhle board member Michael Hiestand said.
“When you’re dealing with an organisation and you can emphasis the location, if you can say, ‘This here comes from local farmers and is organic produce of the highest quality’.”
Energy saving can have two positive aspects – protecting the environment and a business’ bottom line. One company trying to make efficient energy accessible to small business is Dutch company’s Koma Cold Technology and its modern cooling systems controllable by by smart phone and tablet PC. Its environmentally friendly coolant is driven entirely by propane, providing an energy saving of at least 16 per cent.
“And of course a completely natural refrigerant, so no more pollution,” Koma Cold Technology general manager Olaf Graff said.
Energy technology company Schwarze Meyer presented a pellet burner for bakeries at iba. The pellets consisting of wood waste, branches and twigs, have a high combustion efficiency and are CO2 neutral, with a minimum residual ash. A pellet burner can save up to 4000 Euro per oven each year.
Bakery manufacturer MIWE provided “transparency” within its product range by developing a label that identifies the most energy efficiency machines it has available.
“e+ is the MIWE energy label that we bestow upon our products which are particularly energy efficient,” MIWE bakery processing plants division manager Karl-Heinz Winter said.
“We have very strict rules. This is not a marketing campaign, what we are saying is that the energy saving must be at least 10 per cent greater than previous equipment or models.”
Energy efficiency must be planned. Engineering project office for baking technology WD & Partner spruiked its ability to help bakeries with planning at iba.
“In every bakery an oven is used, sometimes very large ovens and furnaces where the chimneys are very efficient, so the burners have an exhaust gas temperature of 250 degrees for example, which is very effective in terms of energy recovery,” WD & Partner CEO Ulrich Wieneche-Daniels said.
“So you can reduce from 250 to, for example, 120 degrees and heat water at the same time that you can use for example for a washing plant,
Whenever you have a piece of cake you have got to have a good cup of coffee with it, and coffee was an important part of iba. Coffee roasters Supremo, for example, claimed to bring coffee culture to “perfection”.
“The optimum in coffee beans starts in the harvest. Coffee remains on the branch from flowering until it becomes ripe. A good coffee bean is then literally hand harvested in order to pick only the ripe cherries from a particular place. The altitude must be high enough to get a good coffee and it cannot thrive as monoculture. Then you get a good raw bean,” Supremo Coffee Roasters Raphael B. Braune said.
The bean must be roasted slowly and gently, Raphel recommends.
“A lot of time is needed through all the stages. If you do this then you get really great coffee,” he said.
If you’re in a bit more of a hurry and yet you don’t want to make any compromises in quality, Novo Roaster offers a faster alternative.
“Our product is a fully automatic coffee roaster so you can roast high quality coffee fully automatically without special staff, ” Novoroaster GmbH business development Leif Pfeuffer said.
Leif said his machine saves money, increases quality, inflates the number of customers and the whole coffee bean gains a new sales areas.
PACKAGING AND PRESENTATION
In a sector where sensitive goods such as freshly baked breads, pastry and cakes must be transported from a central production site, packaging and logistics are significant factors in business decisions.
“Nowadays, most of the goods must be sold in a supermarket, in a retailer, so in this sense packaging is a key factor for our customers for their product,” Ulma product manager Josu Garcia said.
Packaging for baked goods must be versatile and meet three conditions: protect the product during transportation from moisture or damage, ensure the appropriate shelf life, as well as comply with food hygiene regulation
“Hygiene requirements increase every year. For example, many products must now reach reach the packaging machine encapsulated, so some of them don’t even get exposed to ambient air,” said Ralph Mantwitz, head of sales at packaging equpiment company Affeldt.
MaWe Pack owner and general manager Martin Weber said his company has devoted itself to “eco” ideals.
“We have 12 different natural materials, including palm leaf plates or dishes. These are palm leaves that fall from the palm leaves just as in the autumn leaves from the tree,” Martin said.
For MaWe Pack, sugar cane presents a viable and economical way forward.
“We have sugar cane products in use. Sugar cane is a residual substance from sugar production and process this into plates, bowls and cups.”
Following discussion that store concepts must appeal to all senses, Aichinger head of sales Gunter Muth suggested baking take place in front of the customer’s eyes.
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Shop fitting specialist Korte Einrichtungen’s stand attracted large crowds, and head of marketing Stefan Gratfeld suggeted three presentation aspects are important when establishing a new store.
“Good furnishings and equipment for a restaurant is half the secret. The other half is the quality of the baker’s products and the staff. Concept in today’s bakery isn’t merely a point of sale, but it is always coupled with gastronomic elements, such as coffee and a pleasant ambience,” Stefan said.
Baking and confectionery are two separate professions in Germany, but at IBA the two crafts were given equal prominence. Confectioners were given a platform to present their skills, and German Confectionery Federation president Gerhard Schenk said the spectrum of confectionery is “incredibly wide”.
“It starts with coffee, of course, but its also about what goes with it. In other words cakes, cream gateaux, custard pies, ice cream, chocolates, pyramid cakes, right through to hand-made jam. That’s all part of it. But also light meals, lunch, snacks, breakfast. We provide for the whole day,” Gerhard said.
Chocolates and all manner of sweets were available throughout iba. The French chocolate maker Valrhona presented what it considered a new “family” of chocolate.
“Everyone knows milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. But then there is dulcey. With this caramel colour we are almost establishing a completley new family. So you still get chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and sugar in dulcey but the taste is totally unique,” Valrhona chocolaterie sales manager Jean-Marc Feret said.
The Martin Brown Group aimed to increase its product range by finding ways for bakers and pastry chefs to offer new products aimed at a younger market.
“They can offer more than they have classically done so far. We have themes such as small cake lollipops which are very colourful and appeal to children. We have a robot machine that coats macarons automatically. We have a fantastic concept how one can turn classic confectionary into modern, young confectionery,” Martin Braun-Group CEO Dr Detlev Kruger said.
Miniaturising cakes, converting them to to ice creams and adding unique flavours such as ‘frankfurter kransk’ were examples of how to do this.
“So what we are doing is transforming traditional pastry for a present-day youth-friendly target group,” Detlev said.
Martin Braun recommends making ingredients as contemporary as possible in order to attract younger consumers.