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What makes a grocer “the best?”

A lot of stories about retailers being named “the best” or “most admired” or “favorite” come across my inbox. The past few weeks have been exceptionally busy in this department.

Newsweek says Publix, Trader Joe’s, ShopRite, Costco, Meijer and Target are the best in customer service.

Fortune says Costco, Target, Publix, Walgreens and Starbucks are the most admired.

Market Force Information says Wegmans, Publix and Trader Joe’s are America’s favorite grocery stores.  

The Retail Feedback Group has … feedback … about quality and variety showing Aldi and Walmart are gaining when it comes to value for money spent.

The polar vortex means this meme will be out in force this week.

But wait, Dunnhumby has a new list and they say Trader Joe’s, Costco, Amazon and H-E-B are the America’s Favorite Grocery stores.

The data provider has a fascinating matrix of criteria for their analysis based on preference drivers, emotional connection and financial performance.

I’ve often referenced the annual Grocery Store & Supermarket Ratings from Consumer Reports, which surveys customer satisfaction based on 12 different criteria, including produce quality, produce variety and local produce quantity. Rochester, NY-based Wegmans often tops this list, as it did in 2018, with high marks for local produce, in particular.

St. Louis-based Dierbergs also scores high for local produce in Consumer Report’s rankings, which tells me their extensive local produce promotion campaigns are doing their job, because they score higher than West Sacramento, CA-based Raley’s Family of Fine Stores. I know there’s no way Dierbergs has more local produce than Raley’s, just based on geography and climate.

But speaking of climate, my favorite, all-time metric of supermarket popularity comes from social media, and is particularly appropriate this week with the polar vortex sending temperatures to record lows across much of the country.

How often is your store used in the “Star Wars frozen planet” meme for getting groceries in a storm? If you’re not familiar with Star Wars (the original trilogy, of course), Han Solo goes looking for Luke Skywalker in the frozen wasteland of Hoth, while riding a tauntaun.

But in this meme, you say “I’m going to (insert favorite grocery store here). Need anything?”

So, stay warm and have fun with this one.


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.