Best US Grocery Store, Supermarket Retail Chains by Consumer Rankings

Shoppers Rate Grocery Store and Supermarket Experiences in Annual Survey

Barbara Farfan for About.com

Since U.S. consumers visit retail grocery stores and supermarkets more often than any other type of retail store, a frequently asked question is about which grocery stores and supermarkets are the best. Each year Consumer Reports publishes the results of a consumer survey which rates more than 50 major grocery store and supermarket chains.

According to the consumers who responded to the nationwide 2015 Supermarket and Grocery Store survey conducted by Consumer Reports, the best grocery stores and supermarkets, in the opinion of the customers who shop there, are well known for their good prices, good quality, and good customer service.

Consumers rated the grocery stores and supermarkets where they shop, and based on those ratings, Consumer Reports created scores and ranked all the grocery store and supermarket chains from best to worst.

Annually, U.S. grocery and supermarket retail chains sell more than $638 billion worth of products, according to the most recent figures available from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). With the average U.S. consumer making an average of 1.6 trips to grocery store, buying an average of $30.62 worth of merchandise in each supermarket transaction, and spending 5.6% of their disposable income for food that they prepare and consume at home, it's easy to understand why the retail food sector of the U.S. retail industry is so strong, so crowded, and so competitive.

Out of all the many choices that most U.S. consumers have to choose from, what makes a grocery store or supermarket chain "the best?"  

Nobody knows the answer to that question better than the customers who are doing the grocery shopping.  What makes the Consumer Reports annual survey unique is that it allows the survey respondents to designate the criteria before they use those criteria to rate the largest grocery store and supermarket chains in the U.S.

 

According to U.S. consumers, the most important aspects of the grocery store and supermarket shopping experience are, in order of importance:

  • Convenient location
  • Low prices
  • Sales & promotions
  • Merchandise selection
  • One-stop shopping
  • Cleanliness
  • Good private-label brands
  • Courteous staff
  • High-quality produce
  • Fast checkout
  • High-quality meat
  • Accurate pricing
  • Atmosphere
  • Natural and organic choices
  • Nutritional information
  • Sustainable/green practices 

Based on these criteria, and the opinions of more than 6,000 consumers who used these criteria to rate them, what follows is the list of Top Ten Grocery Store and Supermarket Chains from 2012 to 2015.  Click the links to find out more answers to frequently asked questions about individual grocery store or supermarket chains. Then compare these best lists to the Worst U.S. Grocery Stores and Supermarket Chains rankings as well.  

2015 Ten Best Grocery Stores and Supermarkets, According to Consumer Reports Surveys:

1.   Wegmans
2.   Publix
3.   Trader Joe's
4.   Fareway Stores
5.

  Market Basket (Northeast)
6.   Costco
7.   Raley's
8.   Sprouts Farmers Market
9.   Fresh Market
10. Stater Bros.

2014 Ten Best Grocery Stores and Supermarkets, According to Consumer Reports Surveys:

1.   Wegmans
2.   Trader Joe's
3.   Publix
4.   Costco
5.   Sprouts
6.   Market Baske
7.   Raley's
8.   Fairway Food Stores
9.   Stater Bros
10. WinCo Foods

2013 Ten Best Grocery Stores and Supermarkets, According to Consumer Reports Shoppers:

1.  Wegmans
2.  Trader Joe's
3.  Publix
4.  Fareway Stores
5.  Costco
6.  Harris Teeter
7.  Market Basket
8.  Raley's
9.  Hy-Vee
10. Stater Bros

2012 Ten Best Grocery Stores and Supermarkets, According to Consumer Reports Rankings:

1.  Wegmans
2.  Trader Joe's
3.  Publix
4.  Fareway Stores
5.  Costco
6.  Harris Teeter
7.  Market Basket
8.  Raley's
9.  Hy-Vee
10. Stater Bros

More Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About U.S. Grocery Store Chains and Supermarkets:

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