After a successful test of a new store format aimed at Hispanic shoppers, Food Lion is expanding the program, “Sabor Latino” (“Latin Flavor”), in three North Carolina markets, according to a published report.

Last august, the Salisbury, N.C.-based grocer launched the test in the Triangle region of North Carolina, with five stores carrying a broader selection of Hispanic items, among them beans, tortillas, spices, in addition to meat and produce. Store employees receive training in the Spanish language and Hispanic culture, and in-store signage and TV ads target Hispanic households.

Food Lion marketing manager Daniel Herrera declined to give specifics but told the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., that the five stores are “performing extremely well” — so well that Food Lion last week opened 13 Hispanic-focused stores in the Piedmont area, and plans conversions of another 22, including 10 in the Triangle market, with official reopenings scheduled for Aug. 12.

The company will also convert 19 stores in the Charlotte market this summer for a September relaunch. When all of the conversions have been completed, 59 stores, or about 10 percent of Food Lion’s 503 North Carolina stores, will feature the new format, noted the newspaper.

Herrera declined to say how much the store conversions cost or to reveal further expansion plans. Food Lion officials were unavailable for further comment at presstime.