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Delhaize to Introduce Home Meal Solutions Product Line

SALISBURY, N.C. -- Delhaize Group here will roll out a new private label home meal solution product line in April 2008, the company said yesterday. The line, On the Go Bistro, features ready-to-heat meals incorporating high-quality, wholesome ingredients.

According to Food Lion president and c.e.o. Rick Anicetti in a statement, "On the Go Bistro has evolved from a frozen line to a fresh one, an this exciting new private brand will take our home meal solutions offering to the next level in creating great experiences for our customers."

On the Go Bistro will be produced and packaged for Delhaize banners Food Lion and Bloom supermarkets by Belgian company Hot Cuisine at a purpose-built U.S. plant. The chef-prepared entrees, sides, and family-sized meals will be made and shipped fresh, using no added preservatives, additives, or flavor enhancers.

Food Lion spokeswoman Karen Peterson was unable to say when the line would appear in other Delhaize banners, but noted that " [w]ith 1,300 stores in the Food Lion chain, this is a major product introduction for us."

The items may be heated either in a microwave oven or a conventional stove, with instructions for both methods on the packaging.

"The Food Marketing Institute reveals that people rank taste as the top reason for selecting foods," said Wanda Marshburn, manager of Delhaize's U.S. Home Meal Solutions initiative. "The second factor is nutrition. In addition, lifestyle and career pressures limit consumers' free time. As a result, they are outsourcing more household tasks, especially food preparation. On the Go Bistro offers the sorts of meals families crave."

Marshburn further noted that On the Go Bistro selections "can save customers expensive restaurant trips, and they can feel good serving a meal that could have been prepared in their own kitchen."

Delhaize said that it "plans to constantly innovate and create new recipes [for the line] based on demand."

Food Lion, a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, employs about 73,000 associates in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, and operates nearly 1,300 supermarkets under the Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harveys, and Reid's banners.
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