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Dominick’s To Beef Up O-Line

By Andrew Jenkins in Food on Dec 14, 2006 7:42PM

We’re not sure if this has been proven, but we’re guessing that between two frozen burritos, one with the word “ORGANIC” written on it and one without, the former will typically outsell the latter. Labelling a product as natural or organic has become big business, and from the looks of it, the grocery conglomerates are expecting this trend to continue. Crain’s Chicago Business reported yesterday that Safeway Inc., the parent company of Dominick’s and the third largest grocer in the country, will be expanding it’s O Organic line of food offerings.

usda.gifThe O line — consisting of organic produce, cereal, milk and coffee — has already raked in $150 million in sales over the past year, and Safeway hopes the inclusion of some organic baby foods and stuff for the kids will help Dominick’s compete with places like Whole Foods and Wild Oats.

The whole debate surrounding terms like organic, natural and farm-fresh on grocery items is awfully interesting. We caught this interview with nutritionist Marion Nestle the other morning on All Things Considered. She said that while the USDA regulates organic labeling, the term natural has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. A good rule of thumb, she said, is that any item with 100 ingredients listed probably isn’t all-natural. The use of high fructose corn syrup is another red flag.

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