From cronuts to 3D printing, it's hard to turn on your android device without some new fad, craze, or trend forcing its way into the modern lexicon. The pace of change seems unrelenting. And we are left to decide what is real and what is virtual, what will last and what will turn out to be a temporary diversion.

Few predicted, for instance, beyond Elon Musk, that Tesla would quickly capture 15 percent of the luxury car market in California, bypassing both gas pumps and car dealerships with equal abandon.

And yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Take this year's 2013 Best in Class survey. In sifting through the results, predictably some shifts occurred among the winning brands, as is the case every year. What remains largely unchanged, though, is the criteria that respondents used in making their determinations about which brand they would buy, specify or recommend. We utilize a ranking system in our survey that parallels the actual buying process by allowing respondents to weight their answers according to criteria they commonly use when making purchasing decisions. These seven factors have appeared in pretty much the same order every year since we added this enhancement to the study three years ago.

Thank you to all the dealers, consultants and operators who took the time to respond to FE&S' 2013 Best in Class study. We know that it is a significant investment of your time and energy. The study is necessarily long in an attempt to be as thorough and accurate as possible. Your willingness to participate allows us to capture valuable industry data with a variety of applications that ultimately benefit the entire foodservice equipment and supplies industry.

The study provides obvious value to the winners. The use of Best in Class logos by the justifiably proud winning brands is widespread, after all, they were selected by you — the informed and engaged readers of FE&S. But there is also tremendous value to the non-winners, as the study helps them identify where to focus their resources in the constant effort to close the gap with top brands in each category.

If you happened to miss Joe Carbonara, editor in chief, in his latest webcast covering the vitally important topic of food safety, it is now available on demand at Hospitals, schools and universities were well represented in the audience as serving the public in a food-safe environment has graduated from a moral imperative to a legal requirement under ADA.

Be food safe out there!


And for those unfamiliar with "twerking", here's my favorite video.