No, I’m not referring to my photo on this editorial page. Rather, I’m touting our newly redesigned look, one that combines classic business-to-business design graphics with just a whisper of whimsy. After all, confections are meant to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Hence, we feel entrusted with the same mission.

The redesign also coincides with an expanded and revitalized editorial thrust; one that emphasizes a comprehensive news bent covering local as well as global developments, in-depth analysis of trends, product categories and ingredients, timely new product launches, retailer as well as manufacturer profiles, guest columnists discussing legal as well as regulatory issues, and sharing of meaningful statistical marketing data.

The magazine will also continue its relationship with Euromonitor International, which not only provides “Statistical Snapshots” about emerging markets, but also extends to a collaborative relationship in helping us deliver a more accurate and complete Global Top 100 listing. This expanded partnership also will lead to the debut of a new listing, the U.S. Top 50, which will premiere in June.

Bernie Pacyniak
Bernie Pacyniak

Candy Industry will also expand its artisanal chocolatier coverage, providing readers with two quarterly special sections: Up and comers, a newly introduced segment focusing on chocolatiers and candy makers creating a buzz in the industry with their creations, that also includes related recipes; and an expanded Artisan in Action profile, a revealing look at professionals pioneering new concepts and taste sensations.

We’ll continue to bring readers our regular Wine & Chocolates pairing articles, delving into the world of beer and spirits occasionally. Finally, our staff will remain vigilant in tracking all pertinent developments involving trade shows, from Cologne (ISM)’s and Dusseldorf (interpack)’s to Chicago (Sweets & Snacks)’s and San Francisco (Winter Fancy Food Show)’s to name a few.

So page through the issue and let me know what you think. I’m hoping you’ll agree that this new eye-candy is delish.

As for the extra “selfie,” well, that’s a tradition I incorporated upon joining Candy Industry back in 2001. I like showing people where I’ve been and whom I’ve visited during my travels throughout the United States and occasionally abroad.

Moreover, I’ve found that people enjoy tracking me, a kind of “Where’s Bernie this time” game. So whenever I can, I try to get snapshots of yours truly with the people I’m visiting.

In this instance, it’s Kalle Fazer, the younger brother of Majlen Fazer, the focus of this month’s cover feature. As the caption explains, Kalle’s showing me the packaging on a Fazer hazelnut bar. What you don’t see is the wheelchair that the kind folks of Fazer provided me during the plant tour.

As some of you may know, I had knee replacement surgery last summer, Aug. 2 specifically. About six weeks later, I found myself in Helsinki covering the European Candy Kettle Club Award festivities. Typically I set aside a day before all the official visits and receptions take place, which gives me a chance to interview the award recipient and key management team personnel.

As you can imagine, I was a little concerned about doing a plant tour given my recent surgery. Mind you, I had visited the facility in 2008, back when Fazer was Cloetta Fazer. But as we all know, things change, so I thought I’d limp my way through the plant somehow.

Thanks to Satu Ikaheimo, Fazer’s senior manager – communications, the company arranged for a wheel chair for me throughout the entire plant tour.

Anyway, Kalle, who had managed Fazer’s bakery facility, which is a stone’s throw from the confectionery facility in Vantaa, Finland, was kind enough to show me the lay of the land. And yes, some things have definitely changed, such as the addition of biscuits. But you can read about that in the cover story.

 So please, thumb through the issue. Let us know what you like, or don’t like. We’d love to get your feedback.