Food First Blog | 3 Developments We Can’t Wait to See at IBIE 201

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3 Developments We Can’t Wait to See at IBIE 2019
3 Developments We Can’t Wait to See at IBIE 2019

Did you know? The International Baking Industry Exposition was founded in 1920 by the American Bakers Association and Baking Equipment Manufacturers Alliance to provide a forum to connect bakers with suppliers. Proceeds from the show are invested back into the industry. IBIE is really a conversation conference, where over 23,000 food professionals gather to discuss what’s trending organically and what’s not even on the map yet. If you’re attending IBIE, comment below to tell us what you are looking forward to discussing with other industry professionals. Here are three developments we can’t wait to see:


Since the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law officially legalizing the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp, which is defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent of THC, its byproduct CBD has been in legal limbo. While the FDA has yet to approve CBD as an additive, its enforcement has been lax and they are now researching “pathways” that would officially legalize CBD in food and beverages. So knowing where to begin is a struggle for many food manufactures wanting to jump in.

“Adding cannabis is a relatively new venture that a lot of companies are expanding into with edible products, especially in baking. I know this will be a hot topic that everyone at the show will be discussing and learning about,” said Amber Steslicki, AIB International Midwest Regional Sales Manager.

Lisa Ruiz, AIB International Western Regional Sales Manager, also agrees CBD infused baking products will be of interest from a food safety and product quality standpoint. The current lack of federal regulations means that product quality can serve as a differentiator with consumers.

Workforce Development

For the first time, IBIE is adding an extra day to focus on education. The IBIEducate Program will begin Sept. 7 and feature a full day of sessions prior to the show grand opening. The additional day will provide attendees an opportunity to learn from AIB International experts:

  • Stephanie Lopez – speaking about raising the bar on food safety and best practices
  • Len Steed – speaking about the most common GMP issues in bakeries
  • Earl Arnold – speaking about FSMA: Where should you be now
  • Alfonso Capuchino – speaking about GFSI and how its benchmarked standards are driving best practices
  • And AIB International friend, Karl Thorson with General Mills – speaking on proper equipment and plant design  

Each session will help your plant managers, operations leaders, and sanitarians understand how your food safety programs compare to the rest of the baking industry. This Saturday IBIEducate Program will close with a live panel of food safety experts.

One big challenge facing the industry right now is employee retention. As a new generation of employees comes into the workforce, employers are looking for ways to engage, support, and develop their skills. In industries like baking, where the workforce has aged in the past few decades, development is key to future growth. 

“Our clients right now are looking for modern training tools to empower today’s workforce,” said Lisa Ruiz, AIB International Western Regional Sales Manager.

Virtual Reality Training

To help meet the training needs of workers looking to expand their skills, AIB International will be launching VirtualInspector. IBIE attendees will experience this immersive training environment to learn critical food safety inspection skills. Set in a food production facility, a variety of scenarios will encourage users to select food safety hot spots and choose correct food safety checkpoints to enhance their skill set. Demonstrations will be in Booth 4837.

“The VirtualInspector engages the trainee in a virtual environment and delivers food safety knowledge through interactive hot spots. The trainee will easily comprehend each scenario and afterwards will be empowered to apply these new skills in their own facility. We’re excited to introduce this product to meet the demands of the industry,” said Peg Ray, Technical Services Manager of Food Safety Services at AIB International.

As we look forward to enjoying all that IBIE has to offer, one experience Kim LeFrancois, AIB International US Sales Director, won’t miss out on is eating at the Wicked Spoon. It’s her favorite restaurant in Vegas and they have a menu item for everyone!

AIB International will be providing daily updates on all things IBIE in September. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to see more!


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