AUSTIN, Texas (November 16, 2005) For the fourth year in a row, Whole Foods Market was honored as the “Favorite Natural Foods Store” in Veg News magazine's fourth annual Veggie Awards reader's poll. The company was also named “Favorite Vegan-Friendly Bakery” by the magazine.

  In addition, Veg News honored Whole Foods Market's CEO and co-founder John Mackey with a first-ever “Corporate Executive of the Year” award. In celebration of the company's 25th anniversary and in an effort to help achieve more compassionate treatment of farm animals, Mackey and Whole Foods Market established the Animal Compassion Foundation in January 2005. The magazine reports that Mackey is “serious about farmed animal issues and is engaged in the process.”

Veg News is a vegetarian lifestyle magazine. The magazine's Veggie Awards is an annual reader's poll of “the best of everything vegetarian” recognizing excellence in the vegetarian industry. In addition to the Editors' Top Picks of 2005, nearly 10,000 readers cast votes to select 40 categories of favorite products, restaurants, websites, people and places.