SN GROUP

If there's a broad philosophical underpinning in the food distribution business today, it's that previous assumptions might as well be tossed out the window. For instance, it's now accepted wisdom that it's best to focus business segments on what they do best and that it's better to forge intra-industry alliances than to grope in the darkness of suspicion. That's why micromarketing is gaining sway

If there's a broad philosophical underpinning in the food distribution business today, it's that previous assumptions might as well be tossed out the window. For instance, it's now accepted wisdom that it's best to focus business segments on what they do best and that it's better to forge intra-industry alliances than to grope in the darkness of suspicion. That's why micromarketing is gaining sway over mass marketing and why the internecine rancor surrounding trade relations is yielding to partnering.

In short, forward-thinking players in the food-distribution industry are forging new strategies for business activities and are increasingly interested in learning more about the points of view held by operators of other business segments. Similarly, SN editors have been working for about a year on reflecting this new industry outlook by rolling out a stable of auxiliary publications that help give the industry the specialized knowledge that's needed. The capstone in the effort was put in place this week with the publication of Brand Marketing. Brand Marketing, bagged with many of this week's issues of SN, is a news and information package of particular interest to brand marketers and marketing executives at packaged-goods suppliers. As Brand Marketing's subtitle -- Through the Supermarket Trade -- makes plain, its news and feature content is aimed squarely and exclusively at the food business. Brand Marketing editor John Karolefski points out in his inaugural opinion column that the fortnightly publication is presented in five sections, each concerning a specialized area: National News, Commentary, Information Technology, Trade Marketing and Packaging & Ingredients. But starting the Brand Marketing publication is by no means the only way in which the SN Group is striving to fill the need for more specialized information. In the past year or so, editors have also launched these publications, each of which is distributed to a portion of SN's readership:

· Supermarket Pharmacy, a monthly publication that explores the business aspects of in-store pharmacies. This is an important segment of information for the obvious reason that supermarket pharmacies are growing rapidly and becoming important profit centers. · SN Global, which will mark its second publication date next week. This publication brings together news and features about significant industry developments worldwide and is aimed at executive-suite readers throughout the world. SN Global is published six times a year. · Additionally, SN editors have developed a number of specialized supplements that are bound into the center of many issues of SN. They are concerned with business segments such as baby care, frozens, beverages, candy, pet care and front-end merchandising.

The SN Group also publishes Club News, a monthly that circulates to a separate readership base. It is the information source on membership clubs and, increasingly, category-dominant retailers.

We here at SN hope this roster of specialized publications -- coupled with the weekly dose of both general and specialized information in SN itself -- will go a long way toward helping the industry move along the course of change it has charted. We also hope that if you're not seeing one of the SN Group of publications that would be of use to you that you'll call group sales director Douglas Kassler at (212) 630-4757.