You’re not imagining it if you think you see something a little different with this month’s issue of Baking & Snack magazine. After a wealth of research and nearly a year of development, we have rolled out a redesigned publication that more effectively addresses the informational needs of our changing industry.

To do this, we hit the proverbial refresh button to provide a cleaner look and present our in-depth features and technical reports in an easier-to-read format. Additionally, we tweaked the design to make it simpler to navigate and to better differentiate between advertising and editorial content. Don’t forget to check out our new “Innovations” department on Page 124, where you can read about the most recent patents and latest in equipment and ingredient technology.

Overall, our goal is to build upon the strengths of our veteran staff and unbeatable network of contributing experts who have decades of experience in our industry. As a partner in the industry, our primary mission involves educating professionals by providing practical solutions to challenges in the workplace and identifying strategic trends that offer our readers the best opportunities for growth.

To accomplish this mission, we also launched Baking & Snack Formulations Update, a weekly e-newsletter geared toward ingredient technology, innovative marketing and product development. This newsletter nicely complements our popular Operations Update e-newsletter, which can help you manufacture, package and distribute products more profitably. Sign up to receive both e-newsletters here.

Additionally, Jeff Dearduff, a long-time bakery engineer and current chairman of the American Society of Baking, joins our staff as a contributing editor. Many of you know that Jeff has long been an outstanding voice in the industry — in more ways than one — and appropriately, he will be providing his veteran insights in the form of podcasts on our website. Click here to hear what Jeff has to say.

In this issue, don’t miss our 19th Annual Capital Spending Survey on Page 24. Our exclusive report gives you a clear picture on the state of the industry for 2012. Additionally, our editors recently took an exclusive tour of Hostess Brands’ sweet goods bakery in Emporia, KS. We know the company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in January, but day-to-day operations do not seem affected.

The fascinating article by Laurie Gorton and Lucy Sutton, which you’ll find on Page 44, explores how the Emporia bakery instituted a series of other lean manufacturing initiatives to dramatically lower overall operating costs while improving productivity. The Emporia bakery serves as a model not only for best practices throughout Hostess but also for any company searching for constructive ways to enhance productivity.

In these turbulent yet exciting times, we’re here to serve you with a better approach as we start another year. As I have said before, fresh is a good thing — especially in this industry.