A group of lions is called a pride. But for grocery retailer Food Lion, the word takes on a different connotation, especially when it comes to its recent collaboration with PepsiCo to create Uproar—a wildly popular limited-edition Mountain Dew on shelves now.
Food Lion, Ahold Delhaize’s Salisbury, N.C.-based banner, which has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, continues to be the company’s strongest U.S. performer.
Winsight Grocery Business recently spoke with Kevin Pruitt, the category manager of Food Lion’s beverage category and who has 35 years of grocery industry experience, to find out how this drink of choice is making Food Lion shoppers’ taste buds roar.
Diane Adam: In 2021, Food Lion partnered with Pepsi. How did the partnership come about and what were Food Lion’s goals for the product and the partnership itself?
Kevin Pruitt: Dew has been a longtime partner of ours and a very popular item at many Food Lion stores. Through our partnership, we wanted to bring something unique and personal to our loyal customers by developing a limited-edition flavor, exclusively sold at Food Lion stores.
Our goal from the beginning was to offer our neighbors a new and exciting choice on the drink aisle and in the cooler. Mountain Dew is a popular product with Food Lion customers, so we thought it was a great place to start.
As the category manager of Food Lion’s beverage category, what trends are you seeing with your customers right now?
Growth is strong across all segments right now. Energy drinks continue to outpace all other segments with cold availability being a significant key element for growth.
How does the partnership with Ahold Delhaize USA help support Food Lion’s brand strategy?
As a great local Ahold Delhaize USA brand, we’re able to work with partners across the larger organization to best serve our customers. From our partners at ADUSA Supply Chain ensuring products get to our stores, to sourcing new and exciting products our customers desire, our ADUSA partners help us bring our “Easy, Fresh and Affordable … You Can Count On Food Lion Every Day” strategy to life in our more than 1,100 stores.
Food Lion fosters a strong culture and sense of belonging with its customers. How does this new soda, Uproar, play into that?
Many of our customers are big fans of Mountain Dew, and the creation of Uproar was a unique opportunity for us to show them our appreciation. The dynamic design of Uproar’s branding features our very own store mascot, Leo the Lion, and captures the essence of Mountain Dew’s fearless and energetic spirit, both of which our customers know and love. We’re always looking to offer products our customers want, and it’s important to us that our customers know we are listening to their needs and offering items important to them.