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    HEB, Food Lion Hop on Meals Wagon

    As the down economy turns increasing numbers of families back home to eat dinner, two strong regional chains, HEB and Food Lion, are now offering programs of budget meals, both as a boon for customers and a timely way to promote their private label products.

    As the down economy turns increasing numbers of families back home to eat dinner, two strong regional chains, HEB and Food Lion, are now offering programs of budget meals, both as a boon for customers and a timely way to promote their private label products.

    San Antonio, Texas-based HEB is touting “Feed a Family of Four for Less Than $10,” while Food Lion is featuring “Dinner for Under $10.”

    HEB’s program, as explained in a newsletter and on its Web site, provides recipes for seven meals to feed a family of four for under $10. It has the grocer’s line of  private label “Fully Cooked” entrees as its centerpiece.

    In its October shopper newsletter, the grocer offered recipes including Spaghetti and Meatballs, Popcorn Chicken Salad, a Texas Ranch Burger, and Fajita Santa Fe Chicken, each built around a “Fully Cooked” entrée and suggesting other private label ingredients where appropriate. The meals require “hardly any prep time” and “no skills are required,” the grocer said, adding that the recipes can be scaled according to number of servings needed.

    Food Lion’s dinner program, meanwhile, “offers food items to make dinner for four less expensive.” Each week, stores will display all the ingredients to prepare a meal for under $10.

    “For example, our customers recently could find in one place all the ingredients for a spaghetti dinner for four for under $10,” said Gene Faller, Food Lion’s v.p., dry category. “The next featured meal was a chicken biscuit dinner for under $10.”

    Meal offers are featured on Food Lion’s Web site, as well as the Salisbury, N.C.-based grocer’s Shopper’s Companion email newsletter.

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