WHOLE FOODS MARKET TO ACQUIRE FRESH FIELDS

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market here underscored its dominance in the natural foods industry last week by arranging to acquire Fresh Fields, Rockville, Md., its biggest competitor.The move signaled continued consolidation of the natural foods sector and would probably mean a redirection of Fresh Fields' merchandising along the Whole Foods model, analysts said. The latter model emphasizes a purer

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market here underscored its dominance in the natural foods industry last week by arranging to acquire Fresh Fields, Rockville, Md., its biggest competitor.

The move signaled continued consolidation of the natural foods sector and would probably mean a redirection of Fresh Fields' merchandising along the Whole Foods model, analysts said. The latter model emphasizes a purer natural foods product mix that avoids overlap with supermarkets.

The deal, a

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