SALISBURY, N.C. -- Food Lion here treated its customers to an uncharacteristically large number of sale-priced ice creams and novelties in an ad to kick off its participation in National Ice Cream Month in July.
Branded items, private-label products, generic products and co-branded novelties were all featured in the ad, which was sprinkled with such images as the Statue of Liberty, fireworks, penguins and the Ice Cream for America logo.
Ice Cream for America is an International Ice Cream Association program designed to extend the heavy sales push of ice cream beyond July and throughout entire Memorial Day to Labor Day period.
Mike Mozingo, manager of corporate communications for Food Lion, said offering a wide mix of sale items in ice cream has proven to be a successful marketing tactic.
"We feel the variety in that department is very important and this was a way for us to introduce people to some of the products in that section that they haven't tried before. We feel like that type of promotion moves product and gets people excited about what Food Lion has to offer in ice cream and novelties."
The ad featured many multiple-priced items and one buy-one-get-one-free item (Mama Tish's Gourmet Italian Ices at $2.29).
"It was kind of our way of celebrating the Independence Day holiday," Mozingo said, adding that Food Lion has typically had strong ice cream and novelty sections and has won awards for merchandising in those areas. "We felt this was a good time to kick off the summer season for those types of products."
Food Lion put two of its private-label products at the top of the ad. Food Lion Premium Ice Cream was two for $5 and Food Lion Ice Cream was $3.99 for a five-quart pail.
Among other items featured in the ad: one-quart containers of Colombo Shoppe Style Yogurt, six-count packages of Klondike Bars, half-gallons of Sealtest ice cream, 18-count packages of Budget Saver Sugar-Free Pops and Weight Watchers stick novelties, all two for $5.
A local observer said Food Lion has done total category ads in conjunction with National Ice Cream Month for the past few years.
"They basically do an insert and put all their ice cream brands together just to promote ice cream month. They try to get as much ice cream on promotion as they can across bulk and novelty," he said.
The fact that the chain is an everyday-low-price operator, in a market where prices tend to be low normally, makes such a promotion noteworthy, the source added.
"There were a couple of good prices; there wasn't a lot of devastating stuff. But Food Lion is such an EDLP store that their normal retails are already so low. A major sale in another market is our every-day price [in North Carolina], so you just don't get the kind of spikes down here, unless people really give it away."