Regional grocers dominate annual Consumer Reports Best Grocery and Supermarkets list

H-E-B’s Central Market was recognized for exceptional produce quality and selection, as well as customer satisfaction. (Brian Riemenschneider photo)

With the exception of the overall winner, Monrovia, CA-based Trader Joe’s, the biggest players in this year’s Consumer Reports Best Grocery Stores lists weren’t national chains.

The ratings are based on a survey of more than 75,000 Consumer Reports members, who rated one or two supermarkets they visit most often.

Trader Joe’s, along with five regional grocers tied for the highest ratings in customer satisfaction:

  • San Antonio, TX-based HEB’s Central Market;
  • Rochester, NY-based Wegmans Food Markets;
  • Cleveland, OH-based Heinen’s;
  • Burbank, CA-based Gelson’s Markets; and
  • Tewksbury, MA-based Market Basket.

According to Consumer Reports, price was one of the most important reasons consumers choose a supermarket. When a member quits shopping at a particular store, one of the most common reason was that it was “too expensive.”

Produce quality and selection were key factors for selection, according to Consumer Reports.

Central Market, a banner by San Antonio, TX-based H-E-B, and Rochester, NY-based Wegmans were the only stores to excel in both produce quality and variety.

Other stores that ranked high for produce quality:

  • Heinen’s;
  • Gelson’s;
  • Portland, OR-based New Seasons Market;
  • Minneapolis, MN-based Lunds & Byerlys; and
  • Downers Grover, IL-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

The full list of rankings is available here to consumer reports members.

With the exception of the overall winner, Monrovia, CA-based Trader Joe’s, the biggest players in this year’s Consumer Reports Best Grocery Stores lists weren’t national chains.

The ratings are based on a survey of more than 75,000 Consumer Reports members, who rated one or two supermarkets they visit most often.

Trader Joe’s, along with five regional grocers tied for the highest ratings in customer satisfaction:

  • San Antonio, TX-based HEB’s Central Market;
  • Rochester, NY-based Wegmans Food Markets;
  • Cleveland, OH-based Heinen’s;
  • Burbank, CA-based Gelson’s Markets; and
  • Tewksbury, MA-based Market Basket.

According to Consumer Reports, price was one of the most important reasons consumers choose a supermarket. When a member quits shopping at a particular store, one of the most common reason was that it was “too expensive.”

Produce quality and selection were key factors for selection, according to Consumer Reports.

Central Market, a banner by San Antonio, TX-based H-E-B, and Rochester, NY-based Wegmans were the only stores to excel in both produce quality and variety.

Other stores that ranked high for produce quality:

  • Heinen’s;
  • Gelson’s;
  • Portland, OR-based New Seasons Market;
  • Minneapolis, MN-based Lunds & Byerlys; and
  • Downers Grover, IL-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

The full list of rankings is available here to consumer reports members.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.