Package design is a critical component for improving product convenience and freshness in the food and beverage development process. In publishing, package design in the form of how information and data are presented has a similar role. Both Food Business News and its companion web site FoodBusinessNews.net have undergone several modifications to ensure pace is kept with current market trends.
Within this magazine, pages have been redesigned with an emphasis on ease of use. Armed with the insight that our readers use this magazine as a tool to improve management of their businesses, we have organized page layouts and stories in a way meant to allow the content to be efficiently consumed. The food processing industry always has been characterized by wide diversity. While many issues are of common concern, a fact upon which this publication is predicated, various segments also have differing information needs at different points of time. Because of our varied readership needs, the ability for subscribers to find the information that is of value to them is more critical than ever.
The graphic elements deemed essential to Food Business News have been enhanced in the redesign process. The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words holds true. But images also draw the reader’s eye to specific parts of articles, whether it is to mark the beginning or to highlight telling points within. With ease of use again in mind we have shied away from the too often confusing use of images for the sake of having them, and have chosen to use graphic elements to establish points of context for the reader.
The information focus within the magazine will remain relatively unchanged, except that readers will see added emphasis on the retail and food service markets. No coverage of the product development cycle is complete without an analysis of how the primary points of food and beverage purchases are marketing and selling products. Whether it is Wal-Mart’s focus on sustainability, the growth and expansion of private label or the emphasis on s.k.u. (stock-keeping-unit) reduction, the forces prompting change at retail as well as in food service will definitely be felt by food and beverage manufacturers.
FoodBusinessNews.net, the companion web site to this magazine, has undergone a dramatic transformation. Armed with the same type of reader insights used to redesign Food Business News, the changes to the web site reflect the web user’s viewing habits. Most notably, we have done away with the old-fashioned, "endless" home page that allowed users to continuously scroll down to view content that is either not helpful or difficult to find.
When readers visit FoodBusinessNews.net they will view the timeliest information first. Those seeking more context or additional, older content will be able to dig deeper with ease. This change was brought about by the growing volume of news generated throughout the industry and our understanding that business decisions must be based on the latest information, but supported by historical context.
During last year’s election season change was co-opted as a political rallying cry, but for the food and beverage industry it is a constant way of life. Since Food Business News was launched in March 2005 the industry has undergone significant transformations as the health and wellness trend took hold, extreme commodity market volatility dramatically altered purchasing strategies, and the economic downturn reshaped many aspects of consumer behavior by placing greater emphasis on value. As the food and beverage product development process continues to accelerate in response to these changes, timely, industry-specific information will increase in importance and value. It is the goal of Food Business News to ensure executives throughout the supply chain are armed with the information they need to make informed, accurate decisions.
This article can also be found in the digital edition of Food Business News, October 13, 2009, starting on Page 27. Click