The trend toward natural foods keeps growing. Sunflower Farmers Markets, a Boulder, Colo.-based natural foods retailer plans to open 16 new stores by the end of 2009, The Packer reported. The natural foods retailer positions itself as a lower-price alternative to Whole Foods,

After receiving $30 million in venture capital money late last year, Sunflower expects to expand its presence in Colorado and move into Utah and Texas. By mid-next year, the retailer will have doubled its current lineup of 13 stories in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

"We tend to attract the crossover shopper versus the hard-core natural foods shopper," Marketing Director Colein Whicher told The Packer. "We pull more from conventional retail shoppers, folks who are looking to make lifestyle changes."