America’s 10 Best Grocery Stores
Wegmans and Publix are two of the top grocery stores in the U.S., but they’re not in the same league. Wegmans scored higher than both of them and took top honors for specialty department service, including deli, bakery and coffee shops. Trader Joe’s came in third, praised for fast checkouts and friendly cashiers. But Wegmans’s biggest draw may be the wide variety of products it carries. Its stores stock up to 70,000 different items, much more than the average supermarket.
We all have our “go to” grocery stores, whether they have better prices or more deals. However, the best grocery stores vary by region. USA Today surveyed consumers to find the 10 best supermarkets in the United States. Some are regional chains, while others are larger corporations with national reach. These results are based on a survey of nearly 12 thousand Americans.
WinCo Foods started as a discount grocer called Waremart in 1967. The Boise, Idaho-based company changed its name to WinCo Foods in the late 1990s. The new name means “winning company,” which ties in with the company’s five original states. WinCo currently operates 126 employee-owned stores in 10 states. One thing to note: WinCo does not take credit cards.
Trader Joe’s has earned a reputation as one of the best grocery stores in the country. A survey of nearly 7,000 households in the U.S. by dunnhumby, a global customer data science company, has placed it in the top spot for the fifth consecutive year. With its reputation for high-quality, low-priced food and a unique shopping experience, Trader Joe’s has gained an army of fans.
Founded in 1967 in Pasadena, California, Trader Joe’s has grown to over 500 stores in 42 states. Its philosophy is “exceptional quality at affordable prices.” Trader Joe’s is home to cult favorites such as Mandarin Orange Chicken and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. The company’s menu also features items from smaller, locally owned and regional farms.
Sprouts is a specialty grocery store that offers organic and natural foods. The company donates food to 350 hunger relief agencies each week. It also donates money to disaster relief efforts. In 2017, the company donated to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. This year, the company plans to fund 130 different organizations. Sprouts currently has over 300 locations across the country, with more locations planned for the future.
Sprouts’ focus on organic, fresh, and local food helps it compete with other grocery stores. Its prices are lower than those of Whole Foods and other large chains, and its selection is just as healthy. Still, consumers are sensitive to price, especially when it comes to produce and groceries. However, Sprouts’ prices are less expensive than its competition, so it is a good choice for the budget-conscious consumer.
Whole Foods has been named one of America’s top 10 grocery stores. The supermarket chain has a four-tier hierarchy, with each region having its own president and regional administrative team. The company also has store-level leadership and team members. Employees receive discounts on most purchases, including groceries, and Whole Foods has a comprehensive health plan that includes physical fitness tests. The company is also known for its cafes and restaurants.
But Whole Foods faces growing competition from other stores. Many chains have increased their organic food offerings, including Walmart and Publix. Although Whole Foods has more organic produce available, Walmart organic food prices are lower than Whole Foods’ prices. Whole Foods’ premium prices have also decreased since the Amazon buyout in 2017. Once 20% or more, the premium is now only 10%. Even Kroger’s prices are just a quarter of Whole Foods’ premium.
Meijer is a Midwest-based grocery chain with over 240 locations. It offers groceries and other department stores in a supercenter style store. In 1962, Meijer pioneered the concept of a “superstore,” in which customers could buy everything they needed in one visit.
The report measures customer satisfaction and overall satisfaction in a variety of categories, including speed of service, product selection, and convenience. While each of these categories is important, the overall rating of a store is the most important. The highest-rated stores were those that offer both convenience and great selection.
The Hannaford Brothers Company has been in business since 1883. The chain now operates 180 stores in five states and partners with hundreds of local producers to provide customers with a wide variety of groceries. The company is also a leader in health and wellness, having created a Guiding Stars program in 2006, which rates the nutritional value of all foods sold at its stores. Additionally, Hannaford was the first grocery store in the country to receive LEED Platinum certification in 2009.
Consumers in the United States spend more than 10% of their income on groceries. However, despite this staggering amount of money, some grocery stores have become iconic in their own right. New York’s Fairway stores are famous for their olive and cheese selections, while the Central Market in Texas is known for its two-step dance parties. In addition to their iconic status, both Hannaford and Jewel-Osco began their operations by selling goods from horse-drawn carts.