New health food chain in works

Blue Square will establish a chain selling organic and natural foods.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Alon Israel Oil Company Ltd. subsidiary Blue Square Israel Ltd. (NYSE: BSI; TASE: BSI) is planning to launch a chain of health food stores on the basis of know-how and infrastructure of Eden Teva Market Ltd. Blue Square acquired 51% of Eden Teva for NIS 22.5 million a month ago.

Blue Square plans to open a nationwide chain of 30-40 stores within three years at an investment of several tens of millions of shekels. The acquisition of Eden Teva has given Blue Square know-how and a foothold in the health food market.

The Israeli health market comprises of a few independent chains and private specialty shops. The larger chains are Nitzat Haduvdevan, Organic Market, Teva Castel, and Anise.

There is a growing global trend of branded health food and organic food retail chains. Both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Tesco plc (LSE:TCO) have established health food departments in their stores. In the US and Canada, Whole Food Market Inc. (Nasdaq:WFMI) has a prominent chain with 199 stores and recently opened its first store in the UK.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on August 30, 2007

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2007

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