Five of our six top ice cream buyers, as voted for by manufacturers, have featured previously in Six of the Best. Suppliers have obviously benefited from consistently dealing with the same buyers over the past two years, as many commented that these buyers understood the category very well.
This month’s star buyer is Waitrose’s Amanda Sprowson, who was nominated by nearly every supplier in the survey for her commitment to new product development and understanding of the category. “She has a clear and consistent approach to NPD, understands what her customers want and is open to ideas,” said one supplier.
Another added: “Amanda has a good understanding of her category and the role that each segment plays. And she always follows through on her commitments.”
Another very popular buyer - who was only just squeezed out of the top buyer slot, which she held last July as best frozen food buyer - was Tesco’s Wendy White. “Wendy is prepared to go with instinct if she believes a product delivers, and she sets the trends that others will follow,” said one supplier.
Somerfield’s buyer for ice cream and frozen desserts, Louise Dunford, was said to be very approachable and eager to engage in discussions with suppliers. “She has real enthusiasm for ice cream and is always looking for new product ideas.”
Andrew Kenny, Asda’s ice cream & frozen desserts buyer, is the only newcomer to Six of the Best. “Andrew has worked well to build sustainable growth and market share for Asda through best value every day.”
Morrisons’ senior buyer for frozen foods, Mike Lewis, was challenging, open and direct, said one supplier. “Mike has a strong track record with a wealth of experience and is not averse to trying new things.”
Jo Smith, trading manager at Palmer & Harvey McLane, was said to be enthusiastic and prepared to take calculated risks.