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Time has a story entitled "The Next Whole Foods? Three Emerging Healthy Supermarket Challengers," that is worth taking a look at here.

The three candidates, according to Time: Sprouts Farmers Market, Fairway Market, and Wild Oats.

Check it out.
KC's View:
I think the story is interesting and worth reading, though I'm not entirely sure I agree with its conclusions. Wild Oats doesn't even exist right now - there just is a lot of speculation about whether Ron Burkle and Yucaipa will revive it as part of its acquisition of Fresh & easy from Tesco. It may be a brand name with some history, but the company will have to deliver something relevant if it is going to be the next Whole Foods.

I'm also not sure that Fairway and Whole Foods are direct philosophical competitors. They may compete in specific markets, with some overlap of customers, but they are apples and oranges, I think.

Then again, I could be wrong about all this. Maybe Time knows more than I do.