At the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) 2022, major themes discussed included new automation, supply chain and labor challenges, and the ever-growing need for sustainable manufacturing and business. Many of these themes were also addressed by IBIEducate sessions and demos. IBIE gave attendees access to 192 speakers either through the 111 presentations and hands-on workshops or the 61 show floor demos. 

Multiple sessions touched on sustainability, whether the focus was energy efficient operations, waste reduction or regenerative agriculture.

The American Bakers Association (ABA) hosted a conversation with Chris Wolfe, senior director, environmental and sustainability, and Kevin Yavari, senior manager, environmental and sustainability, of Bimbo Bakeries USA, Horsham, Pa. Mr. Wolfe and Mr. Yavari shared how the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program can help bakers reach their operational sustainability goals.

The workforce crisis was also touched on in several education sessions, whether it was Rowdy Brixey, president and founder of Brixey Engineering, emphasizing improved maintenance programs to address this specific workforce gap, or the ABA and BEMA panel on launching diversity, equity and inclusion programs. 

Consumers are looking for everything in their baked goods, from holistic health to indulgent comfort, according to trends presentations by Puratos and Cargill. Several sessions addressed the plant-forward trend and how health and wellness are swaying bakery and snack trends. 

On the retail baker side, education focused on the major shift that industry has seen: the move to online. With the pandemic, many retail bakers had to pivot to online ordering and marketing, and many sessions reflected this new reality.

Dawn Foods offered best practices of how to rise above the digital noise, while Michelle “Mitchie” Curran, owner of Mitchies Munchies, Las Vegas, had attendees bring their devices to get hands-on advice for cracking the social media algorithms. Ms. Curran encouraged attendees to focus on showcasing their business and products on social media. 

This article is part of Baking & Snack's ongoing post-show coverage of IBIE 2022. Be on the lookout for the full story in the November issue of Baking & Snack.