published Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Organic groceries now in mainstream markets

  • photo
    Bi-Lo's Full Circle organic food products include apple and cinnamon oatmeal. With the interest in organic products on the rise many stores have introduced their own brands.
    Staff Photo by Allison Carter

Want to eat green?

Look no further than your grocery store.

Supermarkets, including Bi-Lo, Publix and Food Lion, are offering organic and all-natural lines for those who want to eat healthier but don't care to spend the time or money to purchase national organic brands or go to a specialty store.

"[Our products] were designed to offer an economic alternative to other all-natural, organic products," said Brenda Reid, Publix community and media relations manager, of the company's GreenWise Market private label.

A half-gallon of Full Circle milk, Bi-Lo's all-natural brand, costs $3.69 compared to the national brand price of $3.99 for a half-gallon of organic milk. Meanwhile, the same national brand cost $4.39 at Publix, while the grocery chain's private-label organic milk, GreenWise Market, also cost $3.69. A standard (non-soy) in-store organic milk was not available for survey at Food Lion.

"When you compare Full Circle as a private-label natural and organic line as opposed to some of the national brands of natural and organic products, there is definitely a significant price savings," said Monica Amburn, registered dietitian at Bi-Lo. "There are so many people now that are interested in going back to a more natural way of life and getting away from chemicals and unnecessary coloring and flavoring, high-fructose corn syrup. So it's another option. It's adding to the variety and value of items available at Bi-Lo."

Full Circle, she added, is a co-op brand, meaning it is carried at more stores than Bi-Lo alone, whereas GreenWise Market is a Publix exclusive. A representative from Food Lion was not available to comment on that company's organic line, Nature's Place.

Investigation of all three stores demonstrated that offering in-store organic brand products is an emerging trend.

Stores are responding to customer demand for all-natural products. Reid estimated there are just under 100 GreenWise Market products available right now, while Bi-Lo carries about 130 Full Circle items, according to the company's category management department.

Both companies are seeking to expand their lines of green food products in the next several years.

"We have been cautious in releasing new products," said Reid, of Publix's strategy. The company, she said, plans to open a standard/organic hybrid store in Atlanta later this year.


At Publix

* Bee Natural honey (16 ounces): $4.79

* GreenWise Market honey (16 ounces): $5.59

* Sue Bee honey (12 ounces): $3.59

* Publix honey (12 ounces): $3.49

* Dance Cereal raisin bran: $6.19

* GreenWise Market raisin bran: $3.59

* Kellogg's raisin bran: $3.59

* Publix raisin brain: $2.69

At Bi-Lo

* Kashi cereal bars (6): $3.89

* Full Circle cereal bars (6): $2.57

* Nutri-Grain cereal bars (8): $3.59

* Southern Home cereal bars (8): $2.50

* Newman's Own All-Natural pasta sauce: $3.35

* Full Circle pasta sauce: $2.79

* Prego pasta sauce: $2.49

* Southern Home pasta sauce: $1.69

Do you buy store brand organic food?
  • Yes. 27%
  • No. 73%

358 total votes.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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RightWing said...

In regards to the poll where 75% don't buy it. I wonder if they dont buy organic or just buy "green life/earth fare" organic. I am all about organic food. There really is no need for all the extra crap they are putting in our food. We honestly have no idea what is truly in it.

Must watch videos for the truth.

Earthlings (Full Movie Online) - Food Inc. -

February 9, 2011 at 11:13 a.m.
Cornrefiner said...

High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar. It has the same number of calories as sugar and is handled the same by the body.

According to the American Dietetic Association, “high fructose corn syrup…is nutritionally equivalent to sucrose. Once absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

It is a popular misconception that high fructose corn syrup is more ‘processed’ than sugar, fruit juice concentrate, or agave nectar production. In fact, they all go through remarkably similar production methods that aim to refine the raw botanical material into a robust and versatile sweetener that can be formulated into a wide range of foods and beverages.

Also note, high fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives and meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for use of the term “natural.”

As many dietitians agree, all sugars should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced lifestyle.

Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at>

Audrae Erickson President Corn Refiners Association

Humphrey said...

the corn refiner's association president keeps saying high fructose corn syrup is just fine. Imagine that. But do the data support it?

"In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States."

"Researchers have found new evidence that soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) may contribute to the development of diabetes, particularly in children. "

"The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity. The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain."

There are more. You are sitting in front of the whole internet with a wealth of information about all sorts of topics right there waiting for you to read it and evaluate it.

February 9, 2011 at 8:08 p.m.
RightWing said...
February 11, 2011 at 9:27 a.m.
NevaRDLD said...

As a registered dietitian, I want to comment on the following quote in this article: "There are so many people now that are interested in going back to a more natural way of life and getting away from chemicals and unnecessary coloring and flavoring, high-fructose corn syrup.” I want to assure people that additives provide an array of properties that enhance and protect the foods we eat. For example, high fructose corn syrup has many other functions in packaged foods besides sweetness. It enhances fruit and spice flavors in yogurt and spaghetti sauces, gives a soft texture and protects freshness in chewy breakfast bars, promotes browning of baked goods and helps maintain consistent moisture to keep products, like dry cereals, fresh. Sugar was used for these very same reasons prior to HFCS. Now manufacturers prefer using HFCS because, as a liquid, it often functions better than sugar in products. And sugar and HFCS have a nearly identical composition, half fructose and half glucose, they are indistinguishable by the body and used in the same way. There are several studies that attest to this as well as to the safety of both sugar and HFCS eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods based on the guidelines of the food pyramid eaten in appropriate portion sizes and calorie intake balanced with adequate physical activity. Neva Cochran, MS, RD, LD, Consultant to the Corn Refiners Association

February 11, 2011 at 4:11 p.m.
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