Food Lion, founded in 1957 by Ralph Ketner, Brown Ketner, and Wilson Smith was originally named Food Town and located in what is now the Ketner Center in Salisbury, North Carolina. Grocery prices at the time included ten-pound-bags of potatoes for thirty-five cents. Most grocery stores were owned and operated as family businesses.
In 1968, Food Town started the concept of everyday low prices." Instead of weekly specials or coupons, the grocery chain priced items at their very lowest and kept them there every day, making them an industry leader and,creating the slogan, "LFPINC" or "Lowest Food Prices North Carolina."
In 1983, the company changed its name to Food Lion and expanded beyond its traditional base in south to Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland. By the early 1990s, Food Lion stores opened in Delaware, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Also, during the 1990s, the Delhaize Group of Belgium purchased the company.
In 2001 Food Lion opened its 1,000th store and continues to be a strong competitor in the supermarket business in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Other stores controlled by the Delhaize Group include Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harveys and Reid's.