Food Lion runs over 1,100 supermarkets in the United States, with stores located in eleven of the South-eastern states. It was acquired by Delhaize Group back in 1974. The business is primarily a grocery store company and is based out of Salisbury, North Carolina. Food Lion employs approximately 48,000 people.

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Food Lion Bakery and Food Lion Deli

Food Lion shops carry meat, produce, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, household products and more. The company also has very popular bakery and deli sections. Food Lion’s deli makes it easy for customers to pick up a meal on the go or plan a party quickly. There are fresh deli meats and a vast array of cheeses to choose from. Customers can pick up sandwiches made with fresh ingredients, either for a quick snack or as a full-on lunch. The deli sells party platters that include food items like chicken tenders, fruits and deli sandwiches.

Food Lion has a fantastic bakery section. The sandwiches are made with quality bread, which the company believes is the secret to making excellent sandwiches. There’s a wide selection of baked goods to select from. These include fresh bagels, sub rolls and soft breads. Popular with customers are Food Lion cakes that are baked with top-notch ingredients and are the perfect choices for anniversaries, birthdays and plenty of other special occasions.

Company History

Food Lion has its roots back in the late 50s. Three men named Brown Ketner, Wilson Smith and Ralph Ketner got together in Salisbury, North Carolina and started the company. The trio initially gave the business the name Food Town. It wasn’t until the early 80s when the name was changed to Food Lion because, as the chain grew in Virginia, they discovered a few other businesses went by the name Foodtown, especially in the Richmond area. Plans to expand in Maryland revealed even more businesses—about a hundred—carried the name Food Town.

Eventually the business was bought by a Belgian company called the Delhaize Group. Delhaize at that time had a logo that contained a lion which Food Town wanted to also display on its product labels and shop signs. One of the founders noticed how the word “lion” needed only two different letters from the word “town”. Because of this, the name moved changed to Food Lion. Before the first quarter of 1983 was over, all the company’s stores adapted the new name.

Company Growth

Food Lion experienced plenty of growth in the Eighties, expanding all over the South-eastern and Mid-Atlantic areas of America. Hundreds of shops opened up in Virginia and the Carolinas, while introducing the brand for the first time in Maryland, Georgia and West Virginia. By the Nineties, the company had brand new shops in Delaware, southern Pennsylvania and Florida.

By the time the new millennium rolled in, Food Lion became part of market renewals efforts. What this meant was each year the company selected particular cities in places where they were already operating. From these places, they chose areas where they would remodel the stores and also update the products being offered to consumers.

The company continued with its market renewal efforts in 2006 by making use of demographic and geographic information. The data was employed to help determine whether some of their shops would benefit if they were to be re-branded as Food Lion, Bottom Dollar or Bloom. When they would discover from the data they gathered that an existing Food Lion branch was performing well, no re-branding efforts were undertaken and that particular branch would just be re- remodelled instead. Otherwise, the store would be re-branded under the brand Bottom Dollar or Bloom.

Customers can shop and enjoy Food Lion product offerings in Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. The Delhaize Group also operates Hannaford Brothers. These grocery stores are located in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, upstate New York and Massachusetts.

As for the international market, Food Lion invested seven years trying to build a presence in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. It was operated by Bel-Thai Supermarket Co, locally and eventually withdrew from Thailand after selling its shops to Tops Supermarkets.

Food Lion embarked on several successful marketing efforts. Some of its most popular and catchy slogans include:

  • Lowest Food Prices In North Carolina
  • Extra Low Prices (1990s to the early years of the 2000s)
  • Good Neighbors, Great Prices (early 2000s up to 2011)
  • Get Your Lion’s Share (2011–2014)
  • Easy, fresh and affordable… You can count on Food Lion… Every day (2014 to 2015)
  • Life’s Better with the Lion (2015)