In a town that loves its organics and all-naturals, and is stuffed to the gills with supermarkets, one of our least-froufrou grocery chains is making a bid for the gourmet granola crowd.
That would be Food Lion, the store you’ve formerly known to occupy a rung on the grocery ladder that’s slightly below Giant and a tick above I.G.A. In other words, nothing fancy. But, after years of steady growth in the organic food sector, and a rising tide of consumers who wonder what the hell’s in that TV dinner, I guess even the Food Lions of the world have to do their best to put on a greener face.
So, October 8, they’re gonna unveil their newly renovated stores. That includes five in Charlottesville plus all your closer outliers (Palmyra, Gordonsville, Ruckersville, etc.). Looks like they’ve improved their deli and produce offerings, brought in olive carts and floral departments, and—most relevant in this space—added so-called Nature’s Place sections stocked with natural and organic stuff. Going by the pictures they sent me, it appears that Nature’s Place will indeed be a WOOD FLOOR SECTION, which is a national grocery-store phenomenon I identified some time ago. (The wood floor, you see, stands out from the shiny linoleum throughout the rest of the store, and helps the nature-minded find their way.)
I know I sound snotty. I’m sorry. Just one more dig: The Chicken Alfredo entrée at the Lion’s new “On the Go Bistro” is touted as a “surprising and creative new flavor,” which will come as news to, like, the entire nation of Italy. OK, I’m done. Really it’s a good thing whenever people can buy less-processed food at more places. Seriously.
Snobbery aside, I stand behind my distaste for the blizzard-of-paper approach to marketing, exemplified by this press kit Food Lion sent me:
Anyway, now you have the scoop. I’m interested to hear what you all think of the Lion’s new den, and whether any of you will be shopping there now instead of, say, Whole Foods.