EDITOR'S NOTE: The Changes Will Do Us--and You--Good

In keeping true to our eponymous progressive mantra, welcome to the first installment of Progressive Grocer's category-specific e-trend newsletters that will now become a new and, we hope, valuable addition to your regular, required industry reading.

As you've likely heard both on the streets--and straight from our publisher's mouth on both our Web site and in our January/February print edition[m]our 86-year-old brand is undergoing some big changes designed not only to bring new ideas and concepts to the table for 2009 and beyond, but to also ensure that we're living up to our first name in word and deed.

It's been no secret that trade publications in recent years have been getting hammered fairly hard by some industry observers[m]sometimes appropriately, other times less so. In the case of the former, we are not tone-deaf--we're a progressive, powerful brand that has provided the food industry with forward-thinking, in-depth trends and analyses for the duration. Quite frankly, I'm pretty pumped about the changes we're boldly embarking on (more on that momentarily), and don't mind saying that had we not reconfigured our editorial model to better serve your information demands with more online and interactive vehicles, I'd be borderline-panicked that we were most assuredly running the risk of being irrelevant.

While the reduced frequency of our print edition might be interpreted by some as the most jarring of all of the changes we are making, we arrived at the decision to publish eight issues per year after some serious soul-searching--not unlike that which I'm sure many of you and your companies have also done[m]to ensure that our print product remains something of real value.

As you're already aware, our brand has set the tone and pace in recent years within the food trade press by increasingly evolving beyond the print-only vehicle to communicate and educate the trade via our robust Web site, digital newsletters, Webcasts, face-to-face events, and, most recently, the debut of our sleek and efficient digital edition that provides a speedier, more interactive version of the print edition.

PG continues to invest in listening to what kind of information our core audience of grocery industry executives need, as well as what format you want to receive it in. In 2008, we conducted our second Information Needs Study among our print and online retailer subscribers. The dependence on online communications displayed a radical increase when comparing 2007 with 2008, hence the manifestation of the category-specific Fresh Foods e-newsletter you are now reading.

I'm particularly pleased to note the linchpin of our ongoing evolution is the combined forces of the editorial staffs of PG and our sister publication The Gourmet Retailer (TGR), the latter of which has been serving and educating the specialty and gourmet food industry for some 30 delicious years.

Guiding our new editorial team is Don Longo, Editorial Director of Nielsen Business Media's Retail Food Group, and Editor-in-Chief Michelle Moran, whose accomplished journalistic talents are rivaled only by her undying love of great food and cutting-edge store design.

In addition to having an opportunity to discover anew the talents and expertise of TGR's well-respected Senior Editors James Mellgren and Jennifer Strailey, you will also have the chance to rediscover the talents of PG's stalwart editorial and contributing staffers, including Bridget Goldschmidt, Joe Tarnowski, Jane Tortola, Phil Lempert, and D. Gail Fleenor, who, among others, will be contributing their editorial specialties to both the Web and print editions.
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