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Following the lead of Blue Square, whose supermarkets do business as Mega, Supersol is now planning to set up natural food departments in its stores.

Supersol, the country's largest supermarket chain, is set to launch a pilot program in about six months, after which it is expected to roll out natural food departments at its larger stores, meaning those doing business as Supersol Big and Supersol Deal. The chain's smaller Supersol Sheli stores are not expected to gain natural food departments.

The Supersol natural food departments will feature organic products, health products and ecologically friendly items. Sources close to Supersol say the chain already sells many of these products, but the intention is to gather them together in a separate section.

Blue Square announced last year that it would be equipping its Mega stores with natural food departments. The venture comes at an estimated cost of about NIS 18 million. The natural food sections at Mega are expected to average about 500 meters in size and will have their own check-out areas.

In 2007, Blue Square acquired a 51% stake in natural food chain Eden Teva Market.

The supermarket chains are thought to hold particular interest in the organic sector as profit margins for organic products is higher.

Supersol declined to comment for this report.