Shoppers across 67 Food Lion stores in North Carolina have been popping the tops of a new craft beer exclusive, created by a local brewery for the retailer.
New Sarum Brewing’s Raspberry Blonde Ale was created by the brewery for Food Lion, and comes in a “Lion Series” can that is a nod to the grocer while resembling the company’s other packaging. New Sarum, like Food Lion, is based in Salisbury, N.C.
The retailer, owned by Ahold Delhaize, said it “hopes” to add additional limited release, exclusive beers to enhance its local offerings in the key growth category. Discounters such as Aldi, Lidl and Trader Joe’s have demonstrated they can create a point of differentiation and burnish their quality image behind exclusive beers and wines. Lidl, for example, was recently named “Beer Supermarket of the Year” by judges of the New York International Beer Competition.
“Our partnership with New Sarum is a terrific opportunity to enhance our offerings with a local supplier while at the same time going after a key growth category for Food Lion, which is craft beer,” Adrian Baker, VP of category management, center store, for Food Lion, said in a release. “New Sarum, as well as multiple other departments and functions throughout Food Lion, have all contributed to making this program a great success. Our hopes are the New Sarum Raspberry Blonde is the first item in a series of limited-release batches that we'll bring to our Food Lion customers.”
Early results have exceeded expectations at about 50% sell-through in the first two weeks, Food Lion said. The beer, sold in six-packs, has already sold out in some stores.
Food Lion said the brewery created the beer using 215 pounds of raspberry puree—the equivalent of 530 pounds of fresh berries—providing a crisp, refreshingly tart flavor.