Food Lion Stages Safari

NEW YORK Citing the “ever-growing competitive marketplace” in the supermarket industry, Food Lion this week broke a TV campaign aimed at shoppers looking for bargains.

The ads, via Ames Scullin O’Haire, Atlanta, show families hunting for not-so-wild game. In one ad, a mother and her daughter peer through binoculars at shopping carts and spot one labeled “$79.”

“That one on the left has everything on our list,” says the mom. “And it’s right on budget,” the daughter adds. The family then storms the cart with netting, and a sales associate explains that you don’t have to hunt for bargains — just come to Food Lion where all the prices are great.

Ken Mills, vp, marketing for Food Lion, said usually this time of year, the chain would be advertising food for backyard barbecues, but “given the very very competitive market we are focusing solely on price right now.”

Mills said the chain is also promoting its store brands, though it’s unclear whether those items will be tagged in the ads.

Spending for the campaign was not disclosed. Food Lion spent almost $20 million in measured media last year, per Nielsen. Despite the competition Mills cited, spending for the supermarket category was $702 million last year, a slight increase over 2007’s $675 million.