WEGMANS OFFERS OWN ORGANIC GROCERIES

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The U.S. organic market took another step toward the mainstream recently when Wegmans Food Markets here launched its first line of store-brand organic groceries, including six private-label organic salad dressings.The dressings, in 12-ounce bottles and retailing at $2.79 -- according to an SN source -- were introduced in the middle of January and were promoted in the retailer's

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The U.S. organic market took another step toward the mainstream recently when Wegmans Food Markets here launched its first line of store-brand organic groceries, including six private-label organic salad dressings.

The dressings, in 12-ounce bottles and retailing at $2.79 -- according to an SN source -- were introduced in the middle of January and were promoted in the retailer's e-mail newsletter to consumers, by offering a coupon to try one free, "compliments of Wegmans Nature's Marketplace."

That is a section in many Wegmans stores where natural and organic groceries are merchandised, so the retailer was promoting that concept at the same time. Consumers receiving the Fresh News could print the coupon at home. Like the Nature's Marketplace sections, Wegmans Organic labels carry a sunflower motif.

Two weeks after the salad dressings debut, the company announced on its Web site and via e-mail that it had introduced more items -- Wegmans Organic brand chunky peanut butter, at $3.99; salsas (mild, medium and hot) and maple syrup at $5.99; and pasta sauce in three flavors.

A spokeswoman for Wegmans, Jo Natale, said she could not give any further information, such as who makes the products or if more additions to the line are forthcoming. SN's consumer source, however, noticed end caps with a sign that said, "Finally, organic food with taste you'll flip over!"