Tuesday, September 25, 2007

trends + business + politics: Organic Market Heats Up As Major Supermarket Chain Goes Organic

You know the marketplace is waking up to the growing demand for organic foods when a large supermarket chain like Lakeland based Publix (with 912 locations in the Southeast U.S) decides to make a play for the organic consumer.

The grocery retailer is opening the first of several stores on Thursday, branded GreenWise, which will feature mostly organic and natural foods. The company started selling organic and natural products under its GreenWise brand eight years ago. The new business will offer both organic and mainstream products, but will offer more organic products (approx. 50%) than other supermarkets (approx. 10%). With this new launch, the store will face tough competition against organic mainstays such as Whole Foods Market and mainstream grocers that have increased their health food sections.

This recent move by Publix is part of powerful trend in recent years, as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Safeway, Albertson's and other big supermarket chains have also expanded their organic offerings and other smaller supermarket chains including The Kroger Co., Lund Food Holdings Inc. and Hannaford have become certified organic retailers.

All this activity points to one simple fact of economics - where there is demand, there will be supply. If America wants to eat healthier (and live healthier)- all they need to do is put their dollars to work, and industries ultimately will respond.

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