Tesco’s Sharon Segal was nominated by one manufacturer for being “very accessible and open to changes”.
Waitrose’s Kate Kind, meanwhile, has developed a reputation for being true to her word. “Kate creates good relationships with suppliers by being totally honest and never promising things she can’t deliver,” said one supplier.
Another praised Asda’s Phil Hancock for having an eye for growing manufacturers’ businesses as well as his own.
Sainsbury, Somerfield and the Co-operative Group all made it into the top six confectionery buyers ranking for the first time.
Andrea Rickard, from the Co-operative Group, was praised for her ability to inspire those around her, according to one supplier, who said: “She has good vision. She keeps a tight ship and is very motivational.”
Somerfield’s Henna Popat, similarly, was described as “very objective-led” while being very proactive: “She is ambitious and likes to make things happen.”
Olympia Lindgren, meanwhile, was applauded for her empathy with the aims of suppliers, with one commenting: “She embraces the brand and all that it stands for.”
Six of the best
>>nominated this month
BUYING MANAGER, CONFECTIONERY, SAINSBURY
Lindgren has held roles at Sainsbury for seven years. She began as a buyer in beers, wines and spirits, then moved to carbonated soft drinks. After a time with the cost-saving team in the trading department, she became a buyer for standard confectionery before assuming her present title.
CATEGORY MANAGER, CONFECTIONERY, the CO-OPERATIVE GROUP
Rickard has direct buying responsibility for chewing gum and loose confectionery, managing a category team. Her key roles include ensuring effective management of the buying function within the team and delivering tailored product ranges and promotional offers.
She joined the Co-operative Group in 1991 and was appointed category buyer for health and beauty in 1998.
She later held responsibility for the household and laundry categories and joined the impulse buying department as category manager for confectionery, crisps, snacks and nuts in August 2003.
CONFECTIONERY BUYER, ASDA
Hancock has worked for Asda for the last seven years and has occupied his current post since January this year.
Since then he says he has enjoyed the variety and constantly changing nature of the market, with some of the latest trends in confectionery including demand for sugar-free and diet products.
CONFECTIONERY BUYER, SOMERFIELD
Popat is a recent recruit to Somerfield, having held her current role for seven months. She joined from Safeway where she was breakfast cereals buyer. She stresses the importance of constructing joint business plans through open dialogue in order to foster a good relationship with suppliers.
BUYER, YEAR ROUND CONFECTIONERY, WAITROSE
Kind has been working at Waitrose for the past six years, spending two years in instore department manager roles and four years in buying.
She has held her current post in confectionery for the last three and a half years. Before that, she was a non-food buyer for six months.
BUYING MANAGER, CONFECTIONERY, TESCO
Segal has been in her current role as a confectionery buyer at Tesco for the last three and a half months.
Before that, she was a category manager and buyer for the petrol and convenience markets in Australia and New Zealand with The Shell Company.