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Whole Foods had carved out a market for organic produce but now mainstream grocers are starting to dominate that segment.
Whole Foods had carved out a market for organic produce but now mainstream grocers are starting to dominate that segment.
(Mike Blake/REUTERS)

Whole Foods’ share decline: Why the big surprise?

Consumers love organic food, but they don’t have to go to Whole Foods to buy it.

That may not come as a shock to anyone who has seen organic apples, carrots, eggs and milk on shelves at mainstream grocery stores, but it has taken investors by surprise.

Whole Foods Market Inc. slid 18.8 per cent on Wednesday after delivering its fiscal second-quarter results, offering an important lesson in how to avoid similar disasters elsewhere in the stock market.