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.
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