Wegmans hosts a bevy of natural solutions (e.g., gluten-free foods, supplements and homeopathic solutions) just outside its produce department, including this refrigerated unit replete with probiotics and flax-seed oil supplements. That places the mass-oriented grocer more in line with the kind of natural wellness position you would expect to find at a Whole Foods or other natural grocer.
Even during a time when consumers are cutting back on healthcare expenditures, the probiotics category has continued to grow. According to a report in New Hope 360, sales of probiotic refrigerated juices and beverages were up 43.6% in the natural channel for the 12 months ended August 2010, citing SPINS data. Sales of all probiotics across food, drug and mass in that time were up 37% to $223 million.