Customers Rate U.S. Grocers: Publix and Wegmans Top the List

Shoppers U.S. Grocers With Publix and Wegmans Topping List

Copyright Barbara Farfan

Since U.S. consumers visit retail grocery stores and supermarkets more often than any other type of retail store, a frequently asked question is which grocery stores and supermarkets are the best.

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.

What Consumers Want in a Grocery Store

Of all the many choices that U.S. consumers have to choose from, the following attributes make a grocery store or supermarket chain the best (i.e., most preferred).  

  • Value for money
  • Cashier courtesy
  • Fast checkouts
  • Availability of items
  • Ease of finding items

Among the top grocers out there, Publix and Wegmans are America's favorite grocery retailers, tying for first place in overall ranking in a consumer study of more than 12,700 shoppers conducted by Market Force Information (Market Force).Trader Joe's is a close second and H-E-B ranks third. This is the second consecutive year that Wegmans has held the top spot, after unseating long-running Trade Joe's in 2016.

Publix, which ranked second for the past for years, earned a first-place tie with Wegman's with each scoring 77% on Market Force's Customer Loyalty Index. Trader Joe's narrowly missed the lead spot with 76%, and H-E-B made the top three for the first time with 69%, a 10% increase from 2016.

ALDI and Harris Teeter rounded out the top five with 68% and 66%, respectively.

A Look at Top-Ranked Publix and Wegmans

Publix Super Markets is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the country and has been named to Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For every year since the list's inception.

The chain's engaged and friendly associates help deliver on its "where shopping is pleasure" motto.

Wegmans, founded in 1916, is known for its fresh produce, reasonable prices, and massive stores. The New York-based chain is expanding steadily and, with a focus on employee training to ensure customers have a great experience, creating super fans eager for a new location  to peon near their home.

The Cleanest Stores and who Offers the Best Value

What sets one grocer apart from the others in shoppers minds is (first and foremost) being able to find items that they want, a category where Publix was a clear leader scoring a 66% approval ranking. Publix was also found to have the cleanest stores (coming in at a whopping 83%) as well as fastest check out speeds at 66%. Trader Joe's had the most courteous cashiers scoring 82%. ALDI led for value, followed by WinCo Foods and Costco, scoring 87%, 83%, and 83% respectively. Behemoth Walmart landed at the bottom in all categories except value for money coming in 6th place at 58%

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