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Healthy competition
Trader Joe's pioneered the concept. Whole Foods took it upscale. Now there's Supervalu.
By Michael V. Copeland


(Business 2.0) - Trader Joe's pioneered the concept. Whole Foods took it upscale. Now Supervalu, the $20 billion discount grocery giant, is moving into the lucrative natural- and organic-foods niche, which is expected to grow to $32 billion by 2009. To appeal to shoppers put off by Whole Foods prices, the Minneapolis-based owner of the popular Sav-A-Lot chain will open its first organic outlet, called Sunflower Market, in Indianapolis this month. The 12,000-square-foot store will steal a page from the Trader Joe's playbook by offering low-cost, private-label brands, plus hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and organic produce. While Supervalu hasn't laid out its expansion plans yet, it's presumed to be focusing first on the Midwest--where Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are relatively thin on the ground. Top of page