February 27, 2008
Fresh & Easy Prepares to Launch

Details are sketchy right now, but officials of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets, a branch of the British-based retail giant Tesco PLC, are to reveal plans Thursday morning for a mind-boggling 19 stores in the Sacramento area.

At 10,000 square feet, Fresh & Easy stores are smaller than traditional supermarkets and boast of a narrower marketing strategy that emphasizes "fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices," including private-label products without artificial colors or flavors, hormone-free meats, cage-free eggs and date-coded produce. Stores don't sell cigarettes or anything in Styrofoam, but they do stock wines. (Six Fresh & Easy wines won medals at the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition; most were bronze, though a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon that sells for $11 got silver.)

Bee colleague Jon Ortiz is working on the story, scheduled to appear in tomorrow's Bee.

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