Changes are occuring in the baking industry, and this month I can report a change at Baking Management as well. This issue marks the first since my recent promotion to chief editor. I've spent close to four years working in a number of editorial roles on Baking Management and its sister publication at Penton Media, Modern Baking. I'm looking forward to my new role and to building on ways in which this magazine serves you.
This issue also marks the inaugural Baking Management Industry Survey (see page 10). The survey polled the readership — large wholesale bakery operations like yours — for feedback on trends, directions, worries and opportunities. The research revealed plenty of interesting dynamics at play for manufacturers. For instance, while consumers are outwardly clamoring for healthful items (and health and wellness is undoubtedly a major trend), perception of value is still the number one motivator in the bakery aisle by a wide margin, and, according to you, has the greatest impact on your bakery businesses. The growth of private label is one bellwether of this reality. And bakers, recognizing this, have kept prices in check despite rising ingredient prices, eating the difference and weathering shrinking margins. As disparate of a people as Americans might be, we are all bound by the same overarching economic climate.
The survey is an exciting first for the magazine, and like all our other recent firsts, it will be replicated year after year. Each individual survey tells its own story, and over time, a comprehensive body of consumer polling data will be at our fingertips. Most importantly, at the risk of tripping over my own words, the survey isn't the last of the firsts at Baking Management.
Another recent addition to the magazine's repertoire has been the Innovation Awards issue. We're now on year two of the awards, and we are currently accepting nominations at www.baking-management.com. This provides a chance for wholesale bakers, manufacturers and allied trades to give each other much-deserved nods for originality and innovation (see page 7). Last year's winners were Main Street Gourmet, Bakery of the Year; Viitals high-protein muffins, Product of the Year; and Pattycake Bakery, Packaging of the Year.
Thanks for your participation in the survey, and for your continued interest in Baking Management. I look forward to steering our magazine's efforts to cover industry innovation and all the other important trends.