NATURAL COMPETITION

What's the greatest fear of the specialty natural-food retailing sector?It's that conventional supermarkets will catch on to the fact that natural food -- products free of added chemicals, flavoring, sweeteners and so on -- is chalking up sales of nearly $10 billion. Sales, now chiefly concentrated in stores under the ownership of Whole Foods in Texas and Wild Oats in Colorado, have been increasing

What's the greatest fear of the specialty natural-food retailing sector?

It's that conventional supermarkets will catch on to the fact that natural food -- products free of added chemicals, flavoring, sweeteners and so on -- is chalking up sales of nearly $10 billion. Sales, now chiefly concentrated in stores under the ownership of Whole Foods in Texas and Wild Oats in Colorado, have been increasing at an exponential rate in recent years.

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