America’s Best Supermarkets 2015
February 12, 2015
You voted, we listened; check out our list of America’s best supermarkets
America’s Best Supermarkets 2015
Based on the results of a nationwide online survey, these are America’s top 35 supermarkets this year.
This regional American supermarket chain operates hundreds of stores in the southeastern United States. The market, a one-stop shopping center dedicated to customer service and the quality of its’ products, offers a variety of brand-name goods in addition to their own label, Laura Lynn.
34. Lowes Foods
With a 200-percent freshness guarantee (if you’re not satisfied with the freshness or quality of any perishable or Lowes Foods private-label product purchased in-store, they’ll replace the item and issue you a refund) it’s no surprise that this store made ranked #34 in the country.
33. Price Chopper
Founded more than 80 years ago with a focus on community involvement and now operating more than 130 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, this supermarket is one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations, predominately employee-owned. Their continued commitment to high quality and low prices lands them the #33 spot on our list.
Pathmark is a chain of supermarkets with more than 130 stores in the northeastern United States. It is owned and operated by A&P, another grocer on our list (see #18). Pathmark offers many national brands but also provides customers with its own line of lower-cost products.
31. WinCo Foods
Another employee-owned company, WinCo Foods is a leader in low prices, providing 24-hour service at their stores in Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and Texas. They’re known not only for low prices and around-the-clock service, but also for their vast selection of products.
30. De Moulas Market Basket
Though this Northeastern supermarket chain is one of the smaller ones to make our list, their undeniable commitment to quality and customer service help this chain continue to grow. Adding about five new stores each year, De Moulas Market Basket (which operates under the name Market Basket) now offers Market’s Kitchen in most stores — a place where customers can buy submarine sandwiches, rotisserie chickens, and pre-made family-style meals.
29. Fairway Market
As one of the highest grossing food retailers per square foot, Fairway serves the New York metropolitan area by aiming to provide new and exciting products, fresh meat and seafood, and high-quality produce (including organic varieties). Fairway Market also supports the communities where they’re located, donating thousands of pounds of food annually.
28. Stew Leonard’s
Serving the Northeast in New York and Connecticut, Stew Leonard’s was named by the The New York Times the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores " because of the many animatronic characters that sing and dance to entertain passing shoppers. But, don’t be distracted by the exciting atmosphere; Stew Leonard’s is stocked with high-quality produce and dairy, much of which comes from their own farm.
27. Giant Foods
Giant foods makes it clear that customers come first in their stores when they say, “our commitment starts and ends with you, our customers. For over 75 years we’ve operated our business with a single goal in mind: delivering unmatched selection, quality, and value”. They demonstrate their commitment, too; this award-winning store has a history of philanthropy in their local communities, helping to alleviate hunger and improve public health.
26. Shop n’ Save
Shop n’ Save, a chain located in the southern and eastern parts of the United States, aims to give customers a variety of products at low prices. They are not only committed to their customers and the quality of their products, but also to the local community in general, supporting events like the Special Olympics.
With more than 230 supermarkets throughout the Midwest United States, Hy-Vee is a full-service supermarket that offers natural and organic products in addition to many national brands. Hy-Vee aims to make customer’s lives “easier, healthier, and happier.”
24. Giant Eagle
Moving up six spots on our list of America’s Best Supermarkets since last year, this supermarket chain (with more than 200 locations in the central northeast) offers a number of additional services to shoppers including dry cleaning, pharmacies, banking, and savings on gasoline.
Both Vons and Pavillions (divisions of Safeway Inc.) are deeply committed to their Southern California and Southern Nevada communities. They offer full-service stores (with a number of additional amenities), the highest quality meat and produce, and excellent customer service. Don’t live near Vons? Order groceries online or on your phone; they deliver to many major U.S. cities and suburbs.
22. BJ’s Wholesale Club
This membership-only warehouse-style store operates on the East Coast and in Ohio with over 200 locations. They offer their own house brands at competitive prices, including their own line of organic grocery products, Wellsley Farms. They also offer a variety of name-brand products at discount wholesale prices.
Safeway is one of the largest supermarket chains in North America, with thousands of stores across the U.S. and even more internationally. Safeway offers their signature private label, Signature Café, as well as their more upscale private label, Primo Taglio. Don’t have time to make it to your local Safeway? They’ll deliver groceries to many major U.S. cities and suburbs.
20. Albertsons LLC
Albertsons has operated since 1939 with one objective: “to give customers the products they want, at a fair price, with lots of care along the way.” You can see their commitment to customer service in their no-questions-asked refund policy and their commitment to caring for their communities in their sustainability and recycling practices.
SuperTarget is a chain of grocery stores located inside traditional Target stores; at SuperTarget you can buy everything from electronics to produce. Many stores also offer a Starbucks café and other popular fast food chains like Pizza Hut Express. With all these products and services at our fingertips, it is no wonder that this superstore is so popular.
Originally the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, A&P focuses on fresh and high-quality foods. Though they now operate hundreds of stores throughout the U.S., A&P got its start as a small chain of retail tea and coffee stores in New York. They now offer their own line of products and operate Pathmark, another grocery chain that made our list (see #32).
H.E.B grocery stores are part of a privately owned grocery chain with more than 350 locations in Texas and Northern Mexico. The company also operates Central Market, a popular boutique chain offering upscale and organic products. The grocery store produces its own line of products, which are reasonably priced and of good quality.
16. Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop has become the largest supermarket to operate in southern New England. To make grocery shopping more pleasant, many Stop & Shop stores offer a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts café inside. Adding to their customer service, they also offer a personal shopping assistant that allows customers to track their purchases and do in-cart bagging as they move throughout the store.
15. Piggly Wiggly
Piggly Wiggly operates in 17 states throughout the Midwest and South. Piggly Wiggly is considered the first “self-serving store;” they were the first to provide checkout stands and price mark every item in the store, and started to provide shopping carts as early as 1937. C&S Wholesale Grocers acquired the business in 2003, but Piggly Wiggly’s independently operated stores are still dedicated to being a pioneer in grocery store customer service.
14. The Fresh Market
What started as a single store in North Carolina, focusing on serving customers and providing the best shopping experience, has now grown into more than 100 stores across 20 states. The Fresh Market brings old-world charm and quality to grocery shopping. Stocked with the freshest meats, seafood, fruits, and vegetables, this supermarket is a must-visit for anyone who loves to cook or eat.
13. Sprouts Farmers Market
This specialty grocery store chain has more than 150 locations, primarily in the Southwest. The store focuses on fresh foods, produce, vitamins, and dietary supplements. Their dedication to providing top-notch healthy foods keeps patrons coming back again and again.
Ralphs, a major supermarket chain in Southern California, operates more than 50 stores and provides customers with high-quality products and services. Our favorite perk of shopping at Ralphs? They offer a fuel discount program, which earns you points for every dollar spent on groceries.
With more than 200 stores in the Midwest, Meijer is a regional “hypermarket” and was one of the first supercenter grocery stores to combine groceries with department store goods. Many of their units offer gas stations and convenience store items as well. Meijer cares about its shoppers and the community — it allows customers to make charitable donations to community organizations with a portion of their purchases.
ShopRite is a chain of supermarkets in the northeastern U.S., with 250 stores operated by Wakefern Food Corporation. ShopRite is the largest food retailer in Philadelphia and focuses on giving customers great quality with a low price. Their slogan “Why Pay More?” says it all.
The German-based global discount supermarket chain has close to 1,500 stores in the United States. Besides food and beverages, Aldi specializes in staples like paper products and other inexpensive household items. They have their own line of products in addition to major international brand-name products.
This supermarket chain currently has close to 500 stores that operate in the South and East. Winn-Dixie offers a special line of products (their Clear Value brand) that help shoppers save money. Their website even has easy-to-follow recipes that work well with their Clear Value products.
7. Walmart Supercenters
Walmart Supercenters carry everything that a Walmart discount store does, but they also include a full-service supermarket; you can purchase things like meat, baked goods, frozen food, dairy products, seafood, and fresh produce at Walmart Supercenters. With more than 3,000 stores across the United States, the odds are good there’s a Walmart Supercenter near you.
With close to 3,000 locations, Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in the country. Kroger also operates several other supermarkets, like Ralphs in Southern California (see #12). In addition to popular name brands, Kroger also prides itself in stocking a variety of local and regional products — and selling them all at competitive prices.
5. Whole Foods Market
The thing that makes Whole Foods Market so great is their specialization in organic and natural foods; they promise their shoppers foods that are free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, or hydrogenated fats. The company sells USDA-certified organic foods and products that aim to be environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible.
Although Costco is a membership-only corporation, their popularity continues to grow. Costco has close to 650 stores in the United States and abroad. So, what makes Costco popular? The unique sales model — Costco focuses on selling low-priced items at high volume. Buying food items in bulk is not only convenient, but cost-efficient for large families and businesses.
3. Trader Joe’s
This unique chain boasts more than 400 stores throughout the United States, though most are concentrated in Southern California, where the store originated. Trader Joe’s supermarkets offer more than 50,000 different products, many of which are Trader Joe’s house brand. The diversity of gourmet, organic, and vegetarian options and the excellent prices and quality place this store near the top of the list.
Wegmans is a regional grocery store chain in the Northeast with its own brand of health food products (which they sell at a lower price than similar national brands) and a variety of artisanal products. They also have their own organic farm which helps supply their stores with regionally- and responsibly-grown produce. The chain’s in-store dining areas are also popular amongst shoppers; you can grab a quick bite to eat before or after grocery shopping.
Serving the Southern United States, Publix has more than 1,000 stores and is one of the largest U.S. regional grocery chains. Publix prides itself on customer service. They even have a special order service that allows you to buy products that are not in stock — including ones that are not regularly carried in the store. No wonder Publix is America’s best supermarket for 2015!