FOOD RETAILERS TEST THE ON-LINE WATERS

Some big pieces in the on-line shopping puzzle fell into place this year and the food industry was watching closely.New ventures were formed with new concepts and alliances, and getting capital to fund projects was the name of the game. There were also signs that on-line pricing claims will be increasingly scrutinized -- in the courts if necessary.One of the hottest launches was for Webvan, a Foster

Some big pieces in the on-line shopping puzzle fell into place this year and the food industry was watching closely.

New ventures were formed with new concepts and alliances, and getting capital to fund projects was the name of the game. There were also signs that on-line pricing claims will be increasingly scrutinized -- in the courts if necessary.

One of the hottest launches was for Webvan, a Foster City, Calif.-based consumer-direct company founded by Louis Borders, chief e

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