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Consumer Study Ranks Top Grocers in U.S.

Wegmans, Publix, Trader Joe's and H-E-B are ranked the highest for customer experience, according to syndicated research from Market Force.

A new syndicated consumer research study from Market Force, a customer experience management (CXM) firm, suggests that consumers are still focused on pricing and promotions, but slowing inflation has allowed them to also select grocers based on convenience, cleanliness and merchandise available. 

The Grocery Panel Study ranks 40 U.S. retailers based on consumers' preferences in terms of loyalty, trust, share of wallet and customer experience as well as their opinion of a store’s image/company value. 

Share of Wallet

The chains receiving the highest proportion of consumer spending were: 

  • H-E-B 
  • Fry's Food Stores (Kroger)
  • King Soopers (Kroger) 
  • Brookshire Grocery
  • Food Lion (Ahold Delhaize)
  • Harris Teeter (Kroger)
  • Kroger

BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sam’s Club, Costco and Amazon Fresh ranked at the bottom of this category. 


"Loyalty" to a grocery brand doesn't necessarily translate to higher consumer proportional spending. The chains ranked the highest in Market Forces loyalty index were:

  • Trader Joe’s 
  • Wegmans
  • Publix
  • Aldi
  • Sam’s Club 
  • H-E-B
  • Costco

However, consumers who shop these chains tend to spread their grocery dollars around, according to a media release detailing some of the study results. Walmart, Albertsons Cos.’ Jewel-Osco, Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop and Albertsons’ namesake banner and Safeway ranked at the bottom of this category. 

Consumer Experience

From a consumer experience perspective (i.e., overall satisfaction, likelihood to return and recommendation), the highest ranked chains were:

  • Wegmans
  • Publix
  • Trader Joe's
  • H-E-B
  • Sam's Club 

These chains received the highest marks in a number of experience categories. For these grocers, shopping experience clearly drives stated loyalty. 

"Consumers' disconnect between loyalty and share of wallet, entails the economic side of experience – with value clearly driving share of wallet for the top contenders,” Market Force said in the release. “Value here is defined as: good sales and promotions, value for money spent and good loyalty and rewards programs."

Brand Image

In terms of a brand image/company values, consumers most approved of Trader Joe's, H-E-B, Grocery Outlet, Amazon Fresh and Sprouts Farmers Market.

Other Takeaways

The study examined various parts of the grocery shopping experience. Some overall highlights include:

  • Across chains, satisfaction on grocery pickup and delivery were relatively high, 66.2% and 61.9%, respectively.
  • 68.9% of respondents are using chain websites or mobile apps.
  • The most frequently used features/actions consumers take on retailer websites and mobile apps include downloaded coupons (44.4%), compared grocers for prices/promotions (26.9%), placed a delivery/pickup order (26.3%), compared prices across multiple stores (25%) and used a barcode scanner (23.5%).
  • 59.5% of respondents said they purchase prepared foods/meals because of convenience.
  • Most respondents (40.3%) said none or nearly none of their grocery purchases consist of organic products, while only 3.3% said all or nearly all do.
  • The top problem consumers experience shopping is out-of-stock items, followed by being charged the wrong price, slow or long lines and not enough staff in stores. 
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