SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion here last week began its “Got To Be NC Products” promotional campaign as a part of its partnership with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture's “Goodness Grows in North Carolina” program.
The campaign, which will run through July 24, is designed to support North Carolina farmers and food companies, and help build consumer awareness and loyalty to North Carolina products. Got To Be NC Products will take place at all 494 Food Lion stores in North Carolina, where state products will be featured in sales fliers and in-store samples. Customers can pick up a free brochure about North Carolina farmers and food companies that also contains recipes and coupons for the products. Tar Heel State Food Lion stores — now in their second year with the promotion — will also call increased attention to North Carolina products with special displays, shelf tags and signs.
“Food Lion is proud to partner with North Carolina farmers and food companies in this promotion because the Goodness Grows in North Carolina label means the product is of the highest quality,” said Jim Corby, Food Lion's vice president of produce merchandising, in a company release.
Goodness Grows in North Carolina began in the mid-1980s and is an identification and promotional program designed to heighten awareness about North Carolina agriculture and boost sales by helping consumers, retailers and wholesalers to easily identify top-quality products that are grown, processed or manufactured in the state.
“Considering the agricultural richness and diversity of the state of North Carolina, it only makes sense to sell North Carolina products at local stores,” Jerusha Klemperer, spokesman for New York-based Slow Food USA, told SN. “I applaud Food Lion for taking this step. I think it's an indicator of the status quo at supermarkets that there needs to be a special month designated for such a thing.”
The Got To Be NC Products campaign started two years ago when the state Department of Agriculture began working with retailers with customized campaigns.
“With Food Lion, the kind of campaign they wanted to do was one that combined some endcap displays in all their stores with specific products and demos. They'll have an ad, along with the demo people, who will have coupon books,” said Jeff Jennings, domestic marketing manager for the department.
“Obviously, the end result from all of that will be that a number of food companies that bought into the campaign will have a chance to increase their sales, and it enables us to get the word out a lot better through posters, materials, signs and ads to promote the Got To Be NC program.'”
Food Lion customers can find store specials on North Carolina fresh produce, Butcher's Brand Premium Beef, other fresh meats and more products throughout the store. Food Lion also tags all North Carolina products year-round in its stores with a yellow tag that has the Goodness Grows in N.C. logo on it, Jennings told SN, so the campaign in July just draws more attention to the program.
“It's great to have the No. 1 retailer in the state having that strong of an interest in the program and feeling like it's worthwhile to promote and sell North Carolina products,” Jennings said.