|Whole Foods at Interbay in Seattle|
Safeway is launching a new line of private label food called Open Nature. First products to hit the stores are packaged beef, pork and poultry. Safeway last year identified LOHAS consumers as a viable market segment (that's Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, dontcha know, about 20 percent of its customers). Another way of describing these folks, says Safeway, is to think of them as "in me, on me, around me" consumers who are sensitive to what they put in and on their bodies as well as to what goes on in their community.
(Parenthetically, the Brits have discovered that eating processed food makes you depressed. Insert lame Ten Downing Steet remark here.)
Whole Foods, meantime, has moved forward with its five-step animal welfare rating program, developed with the Global Animal Partnership. If this be eyewash, at least it's earnest eyewash. "Green Plus" chickens (chickens again!) must be able to perch, live in small groups (under 500 birds), have room to flap their wings and preen without touching another bird, and cannot be subjected to beak-trimming. Green-Plus pigs can't have their tails docked; Green-Plus beef cattle can't be castrated. Color-coded animal welfare ratings will appeaer shortly on the Whole Foods meat counter.