Inside Foodbuy with Mel McColgan – Maximising value for clients within the healthcare sector

12 October 2023

Our people are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we sat down with our Account Manager, Mel McColgan, to hear about her vital work at Foodbuy and her experiences delivering innovative outcomes and maximising value for her clients. At Foodbuy, we are proud to work with social care providers, where we support with food procurement operations. With a significant number of private care homes across the UK, each client has their own varying demands and challenges. Our industry expertise and Mel’s tailored client support has enabled them to ensure they continuously improve their offering.

What does your day-to-day job look like?

As a Client Account Manager, I dedicate most of my time to looking after my clients. I build a close relationship with them, ensuring I can provide them with tailored key resources, such as market insights, product switches and budget management. This helps them to navigate inflation and save costs where possible. Another aspect of my day-to-day role is managing suppliers, mainly through reviewing data and other resources. Building these relationships with clients and suppliers is key to successful account management, as it helps me to negotiate the best prices for our clients.

I am often lucky enough to get involved with other, more tangible aspects of working at Foodbuy, including getting stuck in with training and development of chefs through our value-added events. Overall, being an Account Manager at Foodbuy is full of opportunities to get involved with multiple different projects!

How are we currently supporting our clients within the Healthcare sector with managing inflation?

Aside from having a personalised relationship with each client to support their needs, there are many other ways in which we support our clients when it comes to managing inflation. We regularly share our expert knowledge and market insight via various platforms, including our exclusive monthly ‘Inflation Outlook’. This provides valuable, up to date, and detailed insights into the current food markets, displaying product switches, product reviews, and more.

Alongside this, I support in helping the client manage ‘Resident Per Day’ budgets, which has, of course, been a challenge with the ever-changing market. I am always supporting these budgets by conducing data analysis, overseeing product switches, launching new products, and bringing other innovative solutions to our clients.

Can you give us any examples of what you are currently working on?

I work closely with a social care provider to support them with their procurement needs. With a significant number of private care homes, I support them with navigating their food strategy, by working closely with their procurement and hospitality teams to understand the needs of the individual homes and their residents. I really value how I feel like an extension of their own procurement team. To further support, I also manage relationships with their 4 key suppliers, deepening our understanding of the supply chain. This ensures we can provide a tailored and efficient procurement service, while providing the best products at the right price.

Can you give us an example of where we have brought innovation to our clients?

As a team, we have been focussing on the retention of chefs within the healthcare industry. One of our projects designed to support this provides chefs with tailored training and opportunities for development. These innovative sessions aim to upskill and inspire chefs to create more positive and efficient kitchens, by being exposed to our range of delicious and nutritious recipes. Within a healthcare setting, it is important to consider various nutritional needs of residents and inspire chefs to create innovative recipes which cater for a range of needs. These sessions aim to reduce recipe fatigue and keep chefs inspired.

I am proud to have supported these events across the country. It has been amazing to get involved, and to watch first-hand how Foodbuy’s services have made a positive difference. Our expertise in a wide range of food categories and our training and development services, combined with my account management, has ensured that the chefs are inspired to provide the residents with varied, tasty, and nutritious menus.

What do you enjoy most about working at Foodbuy? 

As I mentioned earlier, it’s incredibly rewarding to be an extended part of my client’s procurement team. I have worked with Foodbuy for over 5 years in various account management and sales management roles and having worked for two years specifically within the healthcare sector. It is incredibly rewarding to feel valued each day for my experience and knowledge. I get to combine my 20 years account management experience with my love of food, as well as my experiences from training as a chef in my younger years. Alongside this, Healthcare is a sector in which bringing nutritious meals to residents and patients is often crucial. That’s why my favourite part about working for Foodbuy is knowing that I can support and inspire clients to deliver quality menus for residents within an often-challenging environment.

To find out more about a partnership with Foodbuy, please contact