2010 has been quite the year, according to chief editor Lauren L. Hartman. That’s why it isSnack Food & Wholesale Bakery’s mission to create a new beginning in 2011.

Ahh, December. What a special month; it brings us the winter solstice, the holidays and so on. This time, December closes out quite a year and quite a decade. And what a year it has been. So many important things have transpired this year for bakers, including the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) and more. There also have been great changes to our country, our economy and us.

In this issue, we look at how a fine tortilla and chip producer, Don Pancho, has come through this busy and difficult year with flying colors. In business since 1979, the Salem, Ore.-based company provides a wide array of retail and foodservice flour and corn tortillas. To keep pace with demand, Don Pancho bought an old-fashioned tortilla facility in Halifax, N.C., three years ago, and has since turned it into a state-of-the-art powerhouse that, when at capacity, can churn out more than 80 million lb. of corn and flour tortillas per year. We toured Don Pancho East, an 85,000-sq.-ft. plant created to cater to East Coast customers with a number of on-trend sweet products.

The showcase plant is now the prototype of a tortilla-exclusive facility fashioned by the experts-tortilleros-for the specific purpose of making tortillas.

Don Pancho understands that sometimes it has to change its ingredients and, perhaps, its processes in order to meet the needs of a specific market area. And in the long run, it aims to establish an infrastructure that will allow it to supply “regionalized” national and fresh product alternatives.

Here atSnack Food & Wholesale Bakery, we aim to do something similar, supplying a fresh perspective and various options on baking and snack food manufacturing to a national yet regionalized audience.
Don Pancho also says that its target market, Hispanics, is a group of rather sophisticated buyers because they look for the integrity of the shell. We hope you’ll look for the integrity of our “shell” when you read through our pages, view our weekly e-newsletter,Operations Weekly, or peruse our website (www.snackandbakery.com).

Also in this issue, our contributing writer, Jeff Dearduff, explores mentoring programs and the positive mark mentoring leaves behind.

Judi Adams’ column, Nutritional Corner, features a new member joining the Grain Foods Foundation (GFF)’s Scientific Advisory Board. Shelley Case is a registered dietitian who specializes in Celiac disease and gluten-free diets. The GFF’s Scientific Advisory Board is a group of leading nutrition and medical experts who guide many of the foundation’s programs and oversee the scientific accuracy of the foundation’s programs and promotions.

We also uncover new developments in gums and starches, which provide more benefits to snack foods and baked goods than you might think. Our Production Technology section focuses on new developments in frying systems and trends in frying equipment.  

And our Market Trends piece will keep you up to date on the bagel category, which is battling the myriad competition of 100-calorie, portion-control and high-fiber product introductions. Still, the portable and convenient bagel is surviving, with the demand for all-natural and whole grain products soaring. Many bagel producers are responding to this need by rolling out a different set of items that shift consumer trends to the wayside.

We also feature the latest new ingredients and equipment in baking and snack food production.

In wrapping up a hectic 2010, we have made it our mission to create a new beginning in 2011, and close things with what we believe is a solid December issue, and hope you think so, too. If you’d like to be a part of our articles or special sections next year, please email me at hartmanl@bnpmedia.com or phone me at 874-405-4015.

Happy Holidays!