No, it’s not snowing yet, but the surge of activities the fall months bring in the baking and snack food sectors can sometimes feel like a blizzard. The amount of new offerings from the exciting International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) 2013, Oct. 6-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, was intense. More than 20,000 baking professionals from every segment of the grain-based market converged in Las Vegas for what most say is North America’s largest, most comprehensive baking trade event.

Encompassing a whopping 500,000 net sq. ft. of exhibit space, the Baking Expo indeed brought a record number of industry buyers and sellers together, with the technology, resources and opportunities they need to continue to build their success. SF&WB uncovered all sorts of new equipment, ingredient formulations, interesting seminars, decorating and baking techniques, recipe demonstrations, production lines, technology, interactive presentations and exciting food developments at the show, and will be bringing much of that to you in the coming months.

And congratulations to all who participated in the second B.E.S.T. in Baking event at IBIE. During the show, Mike Beaty, IBIE chairman and Flowers Foods executive vice president of supply chain, and Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery publisher Jeff Heath, presented plaques to this year’s 17 B.E.S.T. in Baking recipients. The B.E.S.T. in Baking program, which stands for Becoming Environmentally Sustainable Together, recognizes exhibitors of equipment, packaging, ingredients, products and/or services that foster energy and water conservation, decrease landfill waste, help protect the environment and promote overall healthy living. Watch our YouTube video about B.E.S.T. in Baking at or go to our website at for the B.E.S.T. in Baking article.

During IBIE, key baking leaders also sat in on the American Bakers Association (ABA) Executive Leadership Development Committee (ELDC) forum. The leader panel, comprised Paula Marshall of The Bama Companies, Miles Jones of Dawn Food Products and Fred Penny of Bimbo Bakeries USA. The panel discussed finding great talent, what it takes to be a successful leader, challenges and much more. Moderated by ELDC co-chairs Connie Vaughan, McKee Foods, and Pete Frederick, Milner Milling, the discussion attracted more than 220 attendees who listened to the leaders’ views on such subjects as what core strengths effective leaders have, how to build valuable networks, how to effectively conduct business overseas and managing multiple cultures when it comes to customers and employees.

On tap in this issue, Shelley Case, our industry insider on the subject of gluten-free, writes a most important column explaining and clarifying the recent ruling by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on gluten-free labeling. With so many food manufacturers choosing to incorporate a gluten-free claim on their packaging, they need to know what specific criteria the “gluten-free” label designation must meet and what terminology to use on the label. Compliance is no small feat, as there are numerous terms bandied about right now that indicate gluten or no gluten, as the case may be, and only a certain amount of gluten may be present in a food or have cross contact with gluten-containing ingredients.

Another hot topic we’re featuring this month is sweeteners. With the public’s growing awareness of healthy eating, childhood obesity and the rising diabetes rate, sweeteners have been in the spotlight, especially where baked goods and snack foods are concerned.

Our Market Trends feature looks at what’s happening in the cookie and cracker markets and finds several new better-for-you products developed to fit more specialty consumer needs and accommodate clean-label requirements. These products are also made from “pure, real and natural” ingredients and packaged to meet consumers’ portability demands and on-the-go objectives.

Be sure to read this month’s Food Safety Factor, in which columnist Gale Prince shares a disturbing account about the impact the arrest of the individuals charged for shipping the contaminated cantaloupe has had on the food industry. As you can see, there are many things going on this month that you need to peruse our pages. Have a great fall season.