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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What happens after I submit my online application?
Applications will be reviewed as soon as possible, and you will be notified via email of the result. To learn more, review our new product process.

Once I submit an application, how long will it take to hear back?
The time line for product review can vary. We strive to open and review new applications in a timely manner, usually within 2 to 4 weeks. Final decisions on products can take up to a few months. For more specific info on timelines, please refer to the category review schedules published for the different departments available here.

Who must use this system?
Almost every vendor introducing a new item to the Northern California. This includes:
  • Any person representing a Vendor or Brand which is new to the Northern California Region of Whole Foods Market.
  • Manufacturers selling bulk ingredients to our prepared foods businesses through a third party distributor (e.g., Sysco).
  • Farmers and others selling produce that is distributed through our Watsonville or San Francisco facilities.
Which stores are included in the Northern California region?
Our stores are in Northern California and Reno, Nevada.

How do I use this system?
Please review the New Process How-To Guide.

Can I skip this system and present my products directly to local stores?
Yes. If your items are manufactured locally, then you may present your items to a local store for placement through our Local Forager program. For your product to become a regional item with placement in all or most stores, you must work with regional buyers and use this system. Please note that unscheduled and unannounced sales visits at stores are not acceptable and may jeopardize your ability to introduce your product in our stores.

Will other Whole Foods Market regions see my application through this process?
No. At this time, your application will only be seen by the Northern California region.

Can my samples be returned if not selected?
Due to the high volume of samples that we receive, we cannot return samples after they are reviewed.

Click here to find store locations in the Northern California region