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Planet Organic explores sale amid healthy eating craze

The health food pioneers behind London-based grocery chain Planet ­Organic are preparing to share a ?50m feast as they explore its sale.
The chain has hired advisers at Spayne Lindsay to field buyer interest in a booming healthy-eating market.
The process follows the ?1.7bn sale of health food chain Holland & Barrett and Amazon’s ?10.7bn swoop on ­organic retailer Whole Foods. It is ­understood Planet Organic is attracting interest from Japanese trade buyers and private equity firms, although management could opt to sell just a stake in the company.
The chain was started in 1991 by Renee Elliott, 52, who set up shop in the UK after being inspired by health food stores in her native Boston, USA. 
Planet Organic explores sale amid healthy eating craze

Planet Organic's store in Muswell Hill, London
Since starting with seed money from family connections the business has attracted investment from former Marks & Spencer director Alan Smith, ex-Space NK boss David Krantz and Fenn Wright Manson founder Colin Fenn. 
Planet Organic, which makes around 30pc of its sales from freshly squeezed juices and the rest from groceries such as spelt pizza bases, is on track to make ?35m in sales this year.
About | Clean eating
A potential sale is well timed as around 60pc of the company’s customers are under the age of 40, as millennials have fuelled a healthy-eating craze that has prompted soaring demand for chia seeds, avocados and matcha tea. 
Ms Elliott has remarked that the “clean eating trend is just healthy eating rebadged”. Planet Organic was the first UK retailer to sell Soil Association--certified meat and sustainable fish, as well as being the first to bring wheatgrass shots to the UK. Last month organic food sales rose by 7.1pc, according to the Soil Association.
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