Adding New Wrinkles
by Dan Malovany
Honey, they shrunk the magazine — and they changed it a little bit, too.   After years of being the “super-sized” tabloid publication, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery has returned to a format that actually fits in our briefcases. Honestly, I thought it would never happen. Thank goodness someone around here got religion.
Seriously, along with the new size and an updated look, we’ve added a few new wrinkles to make your monthly magazine more relevant and to provide more solutions for these changing times.
In this age of instant information, it’s tough for any monthly or even weekly magazine to compete with the Internet and the plethora of Web sites providing the latest information on the snack and baking industries. Every day, I get e-mail links to great Web sites that keep me up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the food industry. Even Stagnito Communications, the publishing arm behind our magazine, is into the business big time with its “Daily Brief” updating all the news that’s fit to print for foodies and its “Stagnito’s Rollout” for food technologists and new product developers.
So why do monthlies keep publishing news that’s days — if not weeks — old? Are we stupid or just lazy?
I meant that as a rhetorical question.
In the coming months, you’ll see SF&WB take on a stronger personality and identity as we add more wrinkles to the magazine. The changes you’ll see will be more evolutionary than revolutionary. Think of them as line extensions that keep what we do best and add new ingredients that provide more value to our readers and advertisers.
Overall, the new format divides the magazine into four pillars. In our “Business Strategies” section, you’ll see a greater emphasis on news analysis that provides a new twist on today’s stories. We’ll continue to bang the phones, but perhaps a little bit more often to provide the story behind the story. We get bored rewriting press releases.
Additionally, we’re working with several firms to uncover new market research and analysis. We’ll explore critical issues. Of course, we’ll provide support and promote snack and bakery industries and the people, companies and organizations behind them. Sometimes, we might just be unpredictable and highlight companies or individuals that are doing something truly innovative, provocative or newsworthy. Expect the unexpected. No more S.O.S. As Monty Python once said, “And now for something completely different.”
Perhaps most exciting is our “Retail Channel Strategies” section. Here, we’ll explore retail, in-store bakery/deli and foodservice trends. We’ll be focusing on what’s going on with your customers. We’re partnering with companies to provide exclusive consumer research and marketing analysis. We’ll be talking to financial analysts, foodservice experts, restaurant chains, in-store bakery operators and those of you who are the suppliers to these channels to find out what the latest developments are.
Our “Formulation/R&D” section will target new products, market trends and product development. We do a lot of that now. We’re just going to do it better. Finally, our “Technology/Production” pillar will continue to concentrate on new processes, automation and equipment. Next year, we’ll take a more international perspective as the iba 2006 baking show in Munich approaches.
In many cases, we’re not providing you with something that’s dramatically different from what we have done in the past. We’re adding a little variety and better value.
Finally, don’t expect a palooka like me to suddenly become a “serious” journalist. What fun would that be? Besides, at my age, a few new wrinkles add more character.