Deborah Cassell

“Like a kid in a candy store.” As cliché as it may sound, no phrase holds more meaning for me right now as I join the staff of this “new” magazine. In short, I’m excited about the opportunities for change, I’m excited about the challenges I’ll face, and I’m excited about getting to know the confection industry.
Having worked in the snack and baking industries for the past couple years, the confectionery market is new to me ... relatively speaking. After all, these areas have been overlapping for quite some time now (think chocolate-enrobed cookies, pretzels and bars), hence the All Candy Expo’s decision to include snack food producers in its 2007 show: “It’s all about sweets and snacks.” According to expo literature, snack, cookie and biscuit companies grew the exhibitor base by more than 12% in 2007. Needless to say, manufacturers representing these categories will return to Chicago for the 2008 edition, May 20-22.
In keeping with the growth going on in the marketplace, Confectioner has been renamed Confection & Snack Retailing (CSR). The changes will continue this year as CSR undergoes a makeover. Among the additions you can look forward to:
• Features on categories such as meat snacks, salty snacks, energy bars and nuts, as well as healthful offerings.
• A better new products section featuring both confection and snack introductions from diverse sources.
• Research that will help you, the retailer, to better understand consumers and their shopping habits.
In addition, look for digital advances from CSR, including updates to our Web site,, and a weekly e-newsletter that will enable you to keep up on category trends and industry news in between issues of the bi-monthly magazine.
Last but not least, you can expect a fresh outlook on the industry. I look forward to my new role on CSR, especially the prospect of bringing readers information on the latest innovations from snack manufacturers, with whom I’ve worked closely for two years now. Like a kid in a candy store, I can’t wait to get my hands dirty ... albeit with hard work and not sticky sweets.
About Me
Prior to joining the staff of Confection & Snack Retailing, I served as managing editor of sister publication Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, an award-winning magazine for top executives, marketing professionals, production managers and technical experts in the snack and baking industries. Prior to that, I spent five years at a magazine for home furnishings retailers.
My love of the furniture and food industries grew out of my love of writing. After graduating with an English major from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, I earned a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. In 2007, the American Society of Business Publication Editors awarded me its Young Leader Scholarship, and that recognition has strengthened my commitment to quality editorial content.
Please contact me with your comments and suggestions. I welcome the feedback and look forward to meeting many of you in the year to come.