A-list health store opening UK branchOrganic and ethical food on offer

05 June 2007

America's biggest health food brand is preparing to open a flagship UK branch.

Whole Foods Market will sell an array of fresh groceries from the site of the three-storey former Barkers store in London's Kensington.

Experts predict the outlet's opening on Wednesday would prompt an upturn in the UK market for premium-priced health foods.

It will encourage other retailers to step up their organic and natural food offerings, according to market analysts IGD.

Fresh & Wild

Whole Foods Market operates 189 stores in the US and Canada plus five Fresh & Wild shops in the UK which it acquired in 2004.

The chain's US outlets are popular with Hollywood A-listers such as Charlize Theron, Mischa Barton and Angelina Jolie.

Its new Kensington emporium will include 13 eating venues catering for up to 350 diners, an in-house bakery, fresh meat and fish, plus more than 10,000 grocery items.

Shoppers can mix their own muesli and grind their own peanut butter.

Ethical trend

IGD senior business analyst Gavin Rothwell said Whole Foods Market's London launch would have a wide impact.

'Whole Foods Market will tap into, and accelerate, the long-running consumer trends of health, wellbeing and ethical consumerism,' he said.

'These trends are already helping to drive sales growth in premium products to the tune of 10 per cent per year.'

The Kensington store will offset 100 per cent of its electricity, compost all its food waste and offer shoppers food boxes made from compostable materials.

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