ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — Ahold Delhaize delivered strong performance in the U.S. on the strength of strong volume growth across its Food Lion banner, supported by the rollout of that banner's "Easy, Fresh & Affordable" strategy, whereas Stop & Shop New England benefited from a strong summer holiday season.
Ahold Delhaize is investing to further improve the portfolios of its own-brand products, providing healthy and convenient choices for customers and leveraging expertise from both sides of the Atlantic. For example, Giant Landover introduced a new line of own-brand products called "No Antibiotics Ever" from 100% vegetarian-fed stock.
This includes combining Ahold USA and Delhaize America natural and organic own-brands with a total annual sales of $1 billion, into its Nature's Promise brand that will be introduced across other businesses, the company reported. Ahold Delhaize will be increasing the Nature's Promise SKU count to 1,400 with $1.5 billion in annual sales by 2020.
All told, Ahold USA fields more than 20,000 own brand SKUs, representing 38% of total sales.
Moreover, Ahold Delhiaze is building its digital capabilities and expertise and continues to invest personalized experiences, both in our stores and online, using data analytics to develop digital loyalty programs and unique offers and promotions. With the introduction of "My Hannaford Rewards" program, all of Ahold Delhaize's U.S. brands have now implemented a digital customer loyalty program.
For the third quarter, Ahold USA posted sales of $6.3 billion, representing an increase of 0.8% as compared to the year-ago quarter at constant exchange rates. Comparable sales exclusing gas was up 0.7%. Delhaize America sales were up 2.2% at constant rates to $4.4 billion representing a same-store sales lift of 2.3%.
Overall third quarter sales for Ahold Delhaize totaled $17.5 billion, up 2.1% at constant rates.