A new year tends to bring change in a number of ways, and this year is no different. We’ve revamped our schedule of our most prominent annual features, and I’d like to share some of those changes with you as we kick off 2021.

The biggest news is moving our annual Plant of the Year feature to August and changing the submission deadline. One thing we often heard was that it was a challenge to get submissions completed at the end of the year when everyone’s got a lot of things to finish while also trying to take time off for the holidays, so we’ve pushed it back to the end of January.  

The Plant of the Year cover story has traditionally been the cornerstone of our April issue, in conjunction with our annual Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference. But circumstances forced us to reschedule FA&M last year, and we have decided to keep it in September. So, the Plant of the Year cover story will move to August to lead into FA&M. September will remain our annual Top 100 Food & Beverage Companies. 

October will be the Sustainable Plant of the Year issue, moving up one month from its usual November spot. Our State of Food Manufacturing survey article will move from October to July, which is nice because it gives us a chance to report on the results midyear as opposed to near the end of the year, when a lot of companies have already started planning for the next year.

One article that will not be moving is our annual Plant Construction Survey, which is always one of our most popular features. It will stay in June, but we’ll have a couple of additional pieces to go with it that we’re excited about. 

With the Plant of the Year cover story moving to September, we had an opportunity to add something new in April, and I’m particularly excited about it. April will be the Innovation Issue, where we look at the newest technology, operating strategies and equipment food and beverage processors are using to meet their production goals. We’d like to have your help for that one; if you’re using something that you find particularly helpful or have figured out a better way to do things, shoot me an email at laughmanc@bnpmedia.com. I’d love to hear about it.

There have been a lot of changes for us over the last year, and there will be some more on the way. Much like all of you, we’ve had to adapt on the fly. But it’s also given us an opportunity to make some changes for the better, and I can’t wait to share them with you.