Inside these posts: Healthy food

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FDA issues warning letter to Lifeway Foods

US health regulators issued a warning letter to Morton Grove-based health food products manufacturer Lifeway Foods, saying certain products of the company were wrongly marketed as drugs on its website. Get the full story »

Walgreens to expand fresh food offerings at stores

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley tours a Walgreens store at 1533 67th Place in Chicago. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)

Walgreen Co. plans to expand its fresh food offerings in several hundred stores in coming years, company chief executive officer Greg Wasson told shareholders this afternoon.

Addressing 2,500 shareholders at the company’s annual meeting at Navy Pier on Chicago’s lakefront, Wasson said such stores fit the company’s strategy to evolve from a “retail drugstore to a retail ‘health and daily living store.’”

Walgreen Co., which offers more and more health and wellness needs, began to test out fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables last year, particularly in poor urban markets where access to healthy food choices is a problem. Get the full story »

Lifeway Foods says net income down in 3Q

Lifeway Foods Inc. reported Monday that its net income fell in the third quarter as the food maker’s costs rose. Get the full story »

Wal-Mart to boost locally sourced fresh food

Shoppers at a Wal-Mart in Orland Hills, Ill. (David Pierini/Chicago Tribune)

Wal-Mart is planning to double the sales of fresh produce it sources from local farms in its U.S. stores by the end of 2015, part of a strategy to revamp its global produce supply chain.

The world’s largest retailer said it would also sell more than $1 billion each year in food sourced from 1 million small and medium-sized farms in emerging markets by the end of 2015. That would help increase income for those farmers by 10 to 15 percent in the same time frame, Wal-Mart said. Get the full story »

Extreme Pita opens in Orland Park

An Extreme Pita interior. (Photo courtesy of Extreme Pita)

Extreme Pita, a Mediterranean fast-food chain concept for health-conscious consumers, opened its first Chicago-area location last week. The Orland Park store is one of 25 the chain has in the works for the region over the next five years.

“There is a real opportunity for us to carve out a niche market in Chicago,” Ray Zandi, vice president of U.S. development for Extreme Pita said, in a statement. “With a large population that has a sizeable segment tending toward health consciousness, Chicago is a natural fit for our vision of inspiring healthy living.”

Founded in 1997, the Mississauga, Ontario-based chain has more than 300 locations, many of them in Canada. But the chain is growing fast in the U.S. Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Chicago-based Technomic described Extreme Pita as a Subway restaurant, but with pita. Customers can watch their sandwiches being custom-made at the counter. Get the full story »

Ex-McDonald’s execs cook up casual concept

From Advertising Age | Two former McDonald’s executives plan to launch a chain of casual dining restaurants emphasizing healthy fair including steel-cut oats and pita pockets starting next year.