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    Whole Foods Market Launches Interactive Web Site

    Whole Foods Market shoppers are used to asking store associates about products, gathering cooking tips and exploring dietary information. With the grocer's newly designed Web site, shoppers can now interact from home.

    Whole Foods is launching a newly designed, easier to use Web site that allows for transparent customer interaction with the grocer's team members. The new site includes features on vendors, in-store brochures, recipes and the latest blog entries. Visitors can also access their local store's Web pages for information on events and store specials.

    The Whole Story, the organic grocer's blog, is a place on the Web site where consumers can learn about organic and natural food. Video and audio podcasts enhance the blog and Whole Foods representatives use it to alert customers about topical issues and new products, the grocer said. Customers contribute their own opinions and directly interact with members of the grocer's staff.

    Whole Foods said its online recipe database contains more than 1,900 recipes and includes detailed preparation instructions and nutrition information. Customers can store their favorites in a personalized "recipe box". Other Web site options include cooking demonstration videos and discussion forums.

    Whole Foods added it is using third-party sites such as Facebook and Twitter to grow its online community.

    In other news, Whole Foods said Margaret M. Wittenberg, the company's global vp for quality standards and public affairs, will sit on the national committee of nonprofit organization Leonardo Academy, which is developing an American standard for sustainable agriculture.

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