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Publix Opens First GreenWise Market

LAKELAND, Fla. -- At its first GreenWise Market, which Publix Super Markets here opened today in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., fully one-half of the items on offer are organic or all-natural, with color-coded price labels to distinguish them, according to local press reports.

"If it's a small white shelf tag, it's a conventional product," Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous explained to a local TV station. "If it's a brown shelf tag, that means it's made with all natural ingredients. But if it's a brown shelf-tag with the USDA organic seal on it, it means it's 95 percent to 100 percent organic in the way that it's produced."

It sounds as if the 39,000-square-foot store also takes a decided turn toward gourmet. It offers nearly a dozen cooking stations with hot gourmet foods, an organic bakery with over 300 cakes and breads made from scratch, an on-site beef ager, an Asian fusion hot bar with vegetarian selections, a cold salad bar, a gelato and organic coffee bar, a Mediterranean pizza oven, and a grill and carving station, as well as hundreds of cheese and wine varieties.

GreenWise additionally includes such environmentally friendly features as a lighting system that automatically dims when skylights let in enough natural sunshine, and a roof coated with a soy-based reflective material to keep the store's temperature cooler.

Publix has said it plans at least three more Florida locations of the banner named for its natural and organic private label brand and store section, in Boca Raton, Vero Beach, and Tampa. The stores are slated to open next year and in 2009.
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