A younger generation is inheriting many natural and health food stores across the country, as the owners who opened stores in the 1970s and 80s reach retirement age. The trend has grown enough that the Natural Products Association created a Next Generation Leadership Committee to ease the transition. While many stores are remaining with the owners’ families, others are being sold to partners or larger companies or simply closing their doors if the children are not interested in taking up the mantle.
The next generation of health food store owners face a different landscape than those who opened stores in the previous century, as large competitors in both natural food chains and healthy brands created by otherwise traditional grocers are common in the marketplace. However, the natural products segment is thriving and grew from $1 billion in the early 80s to $63 billion in 2014, according to Retail Insights, reports The New York Times.