Americans Name Their Favorite Grocery Stores

By on

Americans have identified their favorite grocery stores, and they may not be the big-name stores you’re thinking of.

A new survey from Harris Poll EquiTrend found that when ranking familiarity, quality and likelihood of making a purchase, traditional grocery store brands come out on top. Shoppers in the Northeast like Wegmans, Midwesterners prefer to shop at Hy-Vee, and Southerners said Publix is their favorite store.

“These stores put an emphasis on building a relationship with the customer, and it’s paid off with positive brand equity,” Michael Treboni, an executive with Nielsen, said in a press release.

The only nontraditional grocery store to make the regional favorites list was in the West, where warehouse club store Costco ranked No. 1. Half of Washington-state-based Costco’s retail outlets in the U.S. are in the western part of the U.S.

“While Costco is an international retailer, it has its roots in the West and that strong presence resonates in their brand equity scores,” Treboni said.

A variety of grocery retailers – including mass retailers with grocery sections (like Walmart or Target), discount grocery stores (like Food 4 Less or Aldi) and club stores (like Sam’s Club and Costco), plus specialty stores (like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market) – were included in the study, according to Harris Poll.

Nearly 42,000 people participated in the survey.

“It’s not a popularity contest,” Treboni told Marketing Daily. “The highest familiarity does not always result in the leading score. Leading with quality and driving purchase consideration often pays off.”

The following stores received the highest regional ratings:

  • Midwest – 1. Hy-Vee; 2. Meijer; 3. Giant Eagle.
  • Northeast – 1. Wegmans; 2. Trader Joe’s; 3. Whole Foods Market.
  • South – 1. Publix; 2. Walmart; 3. H-E-B.
  • West – 1. Costco; 2. Trader Joe’s; 3. Whole Foods Market.

Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market were the only national brands to rank above average in all four regions. Click here for a full list of the top-ranked grocery stores in your region.

Do you agree with your region’s store ratings? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,299 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.