Industry Trends, Marketing

5/5/21 Quick Bites: Category Review Trends with Top Buyers




  • In this Quick Bites on Category Review Trends with Top Buyers, our panelists share the trends they’ve seen during the pandemic and what they expect to see in the near future. They share the best ways to offer retail support without demos, how to set yourself up for success, and answer a host of audience questions.


  • Click HERE for video recording

Naturally Bay Area board member Jen Berliner, General Manager of Moonshot Snacks led a conversation with our featured panelists:

  • Sarah Gordon, Senior Buyer – Whole Foods
    • Sarah began her career with Whole Foods in 2015 first working as a Regional Buyer supporting the Whole Body department. In 2018 she moved to support the Grocery team in the same role. Before joining Whole Foods, Sarah worked in category management for Safeway/Albertsons. In her free time these days, Sarah enjoys gardening and hiking in the Bay Area with her partner and their dog.
  • Patrick Wyman, Local Forager – Whole Foods
    • Patrick Wyman has 29 years of experience in the natural foods industry, and 19 with Whole Foods Market. He started with the company in a store support role for the grocery department, moved through grocery leadership, and now oversees the Northern California region’s local purchasing program and local vendor partnerships. In this role Patrick helps guide vendors through the logistics of bringing a product to market including topics like packaging, distribution, financing, and compliance with company and governmental standards. He’s passionate about the environment; professionally he participates in Whole Foods Market’s Green Mission leadership team, and spends plenty of time off work hiking and skiing.
  • Thuy Nguyen, Category Manager – Good Eggs
    • Thuy Nguyen has been working in the food world for over 12 years. and has done everything from scooping ice cream, to managing a grocery delivery company, handling sales and development at an organic meat company, and running farmer’s market booths in the dead of winter in New York City. She currently works on the Assortment team over at Good Eggs where she manages the following categories: Prepared Foods, Bakery, Drinks, Chocolate & Candy, and Vitamins and Supplements. Thuy is passionate about finding small emerging brands and helping them grow. When not working, Thuy spends her time cooking, baking, eating, thinking about food, or talking about it!
  • Miriam Welch – Dairy Category Manager – Safeway Norcal Division
    • Miriam started in the grocery business during high school as a bagger for Lucky Stores.  After progressing in-store roles, she moved to buying and category management for Lucky Stores/Albertsons.  Categories managed by Miriam have included dairy, frozen food, kosher, Asian and Hispanic foods.  In 2005, Miriam moved to Southern California as a category manager and in 2015 was promoted to Grocery Sales Manager, overseeing all grocery categories for Albertsons and VONS.  Recently, she was offered a terrific chance to return back home to Northern California as dairy category manager, supporting the Safeway stores in Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawaii.  Miriam is the current co-executive chair of Network of Executive Women (NEW) for Southern California. She has a BS in marketing from San Francisco State and a MBA from University of California at Berkeley.