It should not surprise anyone that I prefer Baking & Snack

over the other magazines in the grain-based foods category. It turns out that I am not biased when I make the claim that

Baking & Snack

is hands-down the best publication in the market.

As with many publishers, we constantly strive to know how we rate compared with competitive magazines. The more we can know about our readers, their habits and opinions, the better we are able to continuously improve the quality and value of our publication. The flaw in these efforts is that each publishing company, including ours, has historically surveyed its own, most loyal subscribers when conducting this type of research. In this scenario, each of the competing magazines claims to be the top publication with its own research. Wanting a completely accurate understanding of how executives rate the trade magazines in the grain-based foods category, we set out to conduct a truly unbiased and independent study. We partnered with Cypress Research Associates LLC. The third-party research firm carefully developed a targeted sample of executives, without using subscriber lists from any of the industry publications. This was done to guarantee absolute parity. Cypress then developed an online survey that measured preferences and usage of three monthly trade publications serving the wholesale baking industry. It identified itself as the sole sponsor of the industry study. The findings represented a truly unbiased and accurate representation of executives’ preferences and usage of the monthly magazines. Demographics of respondents indicated the sample consisted of the right audience. Cypress captured the correct mix of job functions, products produced, company sizes, purchasing involvement and years of experience in grain-based foods. The respondents were also familiar with the magazines. Most personally received one or all of the publications tracked. Knowing the respondents were qualified provided complete confidence in the value of the results. When it came to the content areas and preferred delivery formats, we learned a lot about readers’ interests. The top four most important areas to readers were ingredient technology, process technology, industry news and marketing trends. For late-breaking news, respondents had a slight preference for receiving information online. For in-depth industry coverage, they chose print by a wide margin. In the competitive areas of the study, data revealed a clear preference for Baking & Snack

. In all of the content areas, respondents chose

Baking & Snack

as doing the best job among the magazines. Baking & Snack had an even greater advantage with the attributes of most comprehensive, credible, appealing and useful. However, the greatest margins

for Baking & Snack

came in the area of look and feel, where the differences were overwhelming. In virtually every look-and-feel category, readers chose

Baking & Snack

above the other publications.

Thanks for making us the best magazine in the category. We plan to continuously monitor and understand the needs and preferences of our readers and improve our content and design. If you would like to share any thoughts or ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us.   END

This article can also be found in the digital edition of

Baking & Snack

, Feb. 1, 2009, starting on Page 12. Click

here to search that archive.