SOURCE: Eco Gift

November 08, 2007 12:08 ET

Eco-Conscious Companies to Promote Large-Scale Green Shopping Event in Santa Monica December 15-16

Whole Foods Market and Los Angeles Times Become Presenting Sponsors of Eco Gift Expo

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - November 8, 2007) - Eco Gift Expo, a unique shopping experience for the environmentally and socially conscious consumer, is coming to The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on December 15 and 16. Today, the expo's producers announced that Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) and the Los Angeles Times have signed on as presenting sponsors of this eco-holiday festival.

Founded by environmentalist Tommy Rosen, Eco Gift Expo will feature 150 companies selling a wide range of high-quality eco-friendly gifts and an organic food court as well as entertainment for the entire family. "The emphasis is on great gifts, convenience and fun," said Rosen, who with his staff has scoured the United States for those companies that bring "quality along with ethics."

The expo will donate 10 percent of its gross event proceeds to Global Green USA, a national environmental organization addressing some of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and Whole Planet Foundation, whose mission is to create economic partnerships with the poor in those developing-world communities that supply our stores with product. In lieu of taking a cut of vendors' sales at the event, Eco Gift Expo organizers have instead asked vendors to participate in their philanthropy program by donating 10 percent of their sales and, to date, 70 percent have opted in to the effort.

Whole Foods Market will engage all 19 of its Los Angeles-based stores in promoting the expo, with wall posters, event fliers at checkout stands and bag stuffers. The company will also provide re-usable canvas shopping bags, giving shoppers an eco-friendly alternative.

"Whole Foods Market is thrilled to share in a shopping expo that allows people to shop with their hearts," says Marci Frumkin, marketing director, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Region. "The Eco Gift Expo is a great opportunity for conscious vendors to sell their products and services to people who care about how they spend their money. By partnering with Eco Gift Expo, Whole Foods Market continues to support our mission to care about the communities we serve and the environment. We are proud to be part of this inaugural event that will most certainly become annual!"

The Los Angeles Times involvement will include a special Sunday, December 9 advertorial section about the expo in the newspaper printed on 100 percent recycled newsprint. The Times will also offer shoppers an "eco gift wrapping station," where shoppers can have their gifts wrapped in the newspaper section of their choosing.

"As Southern California's leading source for news and information, the Los Angeles Times is committed to issues important to our community," said Bill Benjamin, The Times director of events and strategic partnerships. "We're also environmentally friendly, using soy-based ink and recycled newsprint, and are pleased to support the Eco Gift Expo -- an event that brings value to our readers and raises awareness about responsible, ecological ways to enjoy the holidays."

Star 98.7 (KYSR), one of Los Angeles' most popular radio stations, is also on board to promote the Eco Gift Expo on-air and via their web site. The station is eco-friendly and has recently launched a green-focused, HD station called Planet Radio.

Eco Gift Expo takes place Saturday, December 15 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, Calif.

Tickets to the expo are available at www.ecogift.com and cost $10 online or $15 at the door. Children under 12 and senior citizens admitted at no charge. The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is located at 1855 Main Street in Santa Monica, Calif. Parking is $8 at the center or free at nearby city lots.

For more information, visit www.ecogift.com or call 310-399-3097.

About Whole Foods Market®

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) is the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America's first national certified organic grocer. In fiscal year 2006, the company had sales of $5.6 billion and currently has more than 270 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet™" captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Whole Foods Market, Fresh & Wild™, and Harry's Farmers Market® are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Wild Oats® and Capers Community Market™ are trademarks owned by Wild Marks, Inc. Whole Foods Market employs more than 50,000 Team Members and has been ranked for ten consecutive years as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 2.2 million and 3.2 million on Sunday. The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates -- including latimes.com, The Envelope/theenvelope.com, Times Community Newspapers, Hoy, and California Community News -- reach approximately 8.1 million or 62% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times, has been covering Southern California for over 125 years and is part of Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), one of the country's leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information about the Los Angeles Times is available at www.latimes.com/mediacenter.

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