Wild Oats, the once popular Colorado based natural and organics retailer was acquired by Whole Foods in early 2007 for an estimated $565 million has begun to make a comeback on the shelves of Fresh & Easy stores. The reappearance comes as the Southern California-based chain reinvents itself after being sold by its creator British retail giant Tesco to investor Ron Burkle’s company Yucaipa.
“We are piloting a handful of fresh products from our partners at Wild Oats,” company spokesman Brendan Wonnacott told the Orange County Register. “We’re excited to be bringing back Wild Oats to make better-for-you products more available and affordable for our customers.”
Cage-free eggs and four types of organic milk carrying the “Wild Oats Marketplace” brand have begun to appear in Fresh & Easy stores
Burkle’s Yucaipa owns both Fresh & Easy and Wild Oats so the introduction of the brand is hardly a surprise, it remains to be seen whether the brand will be treated as a defacto Fresh & Easy private brand, whether it could find a home in Burkle’s other holdings (A&P) or whether it will swing for the fences and attempt to become a “national brand”. Rumors have it entering Walmart in 2014.