By now, you’re well into the summer routine. Whether your business heats up in the summer or slows down long enough for you to catch your breath, it’s a beautiful time of year. If you’re anything like me, you’re taking the summer to review accomplishments for the first half of the year and strategizing for the second half of the year, all to help achieve both professional and personal goals. Above all else, you continue to look for the recipe for success to increase both topline revenue and profit.

As we look at the second half of our annual State of the Industry report, we now turn our attention to snacks. Regardless of whether you’re a snack producer or a baker, this issue is full of useful, need-to-know content to help you better your business.

Snack food trends are increasingly evident, and categories such as better-for-you, ready-to-eat popcorn and snack nuts are showing strong areas of growth.

It’s interesting to notice the impact private label products are making in snacks. The better-for-you, nutritional snacks/trail mix category is up 2.07 percent in dollar share to $1.05 billion as a category for the 52-week period ending May 17, 2015, according to IRI, Chicago. Almost half of this business is in the private label area. Conversely, in the snack nuts category—up 3.81 percent in dollar sales for the same period—private label products growth is 1.3 percent. Meanwhile, powerhouse Kraft registered a sales increase of 5.3 percent for the period.

Juggernaut Frito-Lay continues to grow faster in several categories than the category itself. For example, the cheese snack category is up 5.96 percent in dollar share, while Frito-Lay is up 6.22 percent. Corn snacks, as a category, is up 3.2 percent, while Frito-Lay is up 5.13 percent.

Just like the snack industry, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery continues to grow. We thrive on bringing you the latest information from those in the market, whether it is our industry practitioner columnists or our relationships with major associations. We love our “in-market” footprint. This will be evident as we produce an industry exclusive “State of the Industry: Snack & Baking” webinar on Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. Eastern. This not-to-be-missed webinar will feature keynote speakers Robb MacKie, president and CEO of the American Bakers Association, and Tom Dempsey, president and CEO of the Snack Food Association. Both will address key developments in regulatory issues and concerns facing snack and baking professionals. They will also focus on big-picture issues facing the industry today and in the future.

Also participating in the webinar will be Sally Kruger, executive vice president and practice leader, bakery, and Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader, snacks, both from market research firm IRI. They will provide market data for strong and emerging snack and bakery product categories, pointing the way toward future success in this business.

The webinar will also provide key discussions of new ingredients, equipment, technology and packaging that will drive profits. We think it will be the perfect way to end the summer and help you plan for what’s next in your organization. It is easy and simple to register—just go to

 I hope the rest of your summer is filled with all the best things in life, family, faith, new business and a touch of rest and relaxation. Cheers