Whole Foods To Add 1 Million Square Feet
Whole Foods Markets Inc. has 23 stores in development, representing more than a million square feet, "the largest pipeline we've ever had," according to John Mackey, the Austin, Texas, natural supermarkets' CEO. In a May 9 conference call with analysts, Mackey said more leases will be announced as the year progresses. Among markets in the works are two in Manhattan and one each in Louisville, Ky.; Valencia and Long Beach, Calif.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Sarasota, Fla.; West Vancouver, B.C.; and a 52,000-square-foot store in Bellevue, Wash., a suburb of Seattle. Whole Foods now runs 142 stores in 25 states and Canada.
Astra-Zeneca Sells Quorn to Venture Firm
Marlow Foods Ltd., the North Yorkshire, U.K., manufacturer of Quorn meat-free products, was sold May 26 to Montagu Private Equity for $114.8 million, the Financial Times reported. Seeking to concentrate on its core business, Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca put Marlow on the market a year ago. Montagu is HSBC Bank's former private equity group.
Made from mycoprotein, an edible fungus, Quorn is the most popular meat substitute in Europe, the company says, with worldwide sales last year of more than $131 million. Quorn sells 11 products in the United States and claimed U.S. sales of more than $5 million in its first 12 months. A "naked" grilled chicken-style cutlet and a Quorn hot dog were added to the U.S. lineup in May.
Pan Pharma Recall Rattles Industry
Pan Pharmaceuticals, the largest manufacturer of complementary medicines in Australia, faced closure after a government-mandated recall expanded to more than 1,500 items produced since May 2002. Australian regulators pulled Pan's manufacturing license after several dozen people hallucinated from a motion sickness supplement called Travacalm. Further review found that active ingredients in some Pan products ranged from nonexistent to 700 percent of advertised potency. Pan exported private-label supplements, raw ingredients, softgels and other products to more than 40 countries, although no regulatory action has been undertaken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One Australian manufacturer, Mayne Group, says 400 of its products were on the list and sued Pan for $16.5 million. For a list of all the recalled substances, check tga.health.gov.au/recalls/nonpanrec_90.htm.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 7/p. 12