Southeastern grocery giant Publix set to open organic-focused GreenWise Atlanta market

Forget the chicken tender Pub Subs and sugary iced tea.

Publix has announced that it intends to open one of its new GreenWise Markets in metro Atlanta that sells only natural foods.

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The new format is an extension of what shoppers know as the GreenWise section in Publix supermarkets that are about a quarter-aisle of healthier fare.

There was no announced opening date for the store in Marietta in Cobb County.

These standalone stores will offer prepared foods in additions to organic groceries.

The announcement comes a year after Amazon revealed its $13.7 million deal to buy Whole Foods.

"We admire the diverse cultural landscape and deep history of the Atlanta area," Kevin Murphy, Publix senior vice president of retail operations, said in a news release earlier this month. "We look forward to creating a unique experience for our Atlanta-area customers."

Marietta is set to be the fifth GreenWise Market. The first will open in Tallahassee later this month, the company said.

The stores in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and in the company’s Florida birthplace of Lakeland are set to open in 2019. There will also be a location in Boca Raton, Florida.

Company spokesman Brian West told the newspaper in Lakeland, The Ledger, that the stores will be about 25 percent smaller than a regular Publix.

"GreenWise Market will offer a thoughtfully curated selection of organic, specialty and traditional grocery items," West told The Ledger. "Because there's only a limited selection of traditional grocery items, we can focus on the natural, organic, specialty, and gourmet foods our customers are looking for."

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