Most of us frequent supermarkets on a weekly basis, if not more often. We head in, shopping list in hand, and re-stock any kitchen or household supplies that may be dwindling. From fruits, vegetables, dairy, and proteins to paper towels, kitchen cleaners, canned beans, pasta, oatmeal, and more, the list is pretty much endless. While many these days choose to source their seasonal produce from farmers markets, most of us still rely heavily on supermarkets for a majority (or all) of the weekly shopping.
There are, of course, many smaller, more local chains or even smaller, independent grocery stores all over the country. For this list however, we looked only at the larger names, those supermarkets that cover America with multiple locations and are commonly known in many states. We ranked them based on our list of the best supermarkets in every state and also did further extensive research, scouring the internet for similar supermarket rankings as well as supermarket reviews and check-ins on sites like Yelp and Foursquare.
We start our list with the mammoth chain Walmart, which makes the list largely due to sheer number of locations and the consequent accessibility of the brand. Walmart has also started to offer a larger and larger range of organic products, which is music to our ears!
Founded in Idaho in 1915, this chain now has over 1,300 stores across the country. According to their website, all of their stores were founded with the philosophy of offering customers the products they wanted to buy at a fair price, with lots of tender, loving care.
With headquarters in Walker, Michigan, this chain, founded in 1934, is considered to have introduced the now-ubiquitous supercenter concept to consumers. They sell everything from grocery items and household essentials to sporting goods, clothing, and furniture!
One of the leading discount supermarket chains in the world, founded in Germany in 1946, Aldi has over 10,000 stores in 18 countries. Though their products were once considered to be low-quality and cheap, these days customers love the affordable prices and environmental efforts — customers have to bring their own bags rather than use plastic ones.
This beloved Texas supermarket chain was founded in 1905. They have over 340 stores across Texas and northeastern Mexico, making them the twentieth largest retailer in the U.S. H-E-B is also known for treating their employees well — in 2017, the chain was rated the best retail employer in the United States by Indeed.com.
New Seasons Market-Concordia/Yelp
“Always top notch food offerings, with focus on Pacific Northwest companies,” said Google reviewer Dan Beltramo. New Seasons has a good mix of grocery classics and local, organic favorites. It also gives 10 percent of profits back to the community.
Started as a small dairy store in 1969 with just seven employees, Stew Leonard’s has grown substantially since then, with almost 2,000 employees and store locations in Connecticut and New York. It’s valued for its serious commitment to customer loyalty and the in-store experience as well as for the quality and variety of products offered. Their motto is “The customer is always right!”
Founded in downtown Cincinnati in 1883, this supermarket chain now has nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states, making it one of the largest supermarkets in the world. From day one the company has been run with the motto “Be particular. Never sell anything you would not want yourself.” In 2014 Kroger merged with Harris Teeter, which you will find next on our list!
North Carolina-based Harris Teeter encourages each of its stores to be an active part of the community by working with local schools and food voucher systems. In fact, Harris Teeter stores have now donated more than $24.6 million to local schools within their respective communities.
In 2015 wholesale retailer Costco was the second largest retailer in the world after Walmart, and in 2016 it was announced that they are the world’s largest retailer of organic foods, rotisserie chicken (for which they are justifiably famous), wine, and certain grades of beef. The company was founded in 1976 (it was originally called Price Club) and was set up in a converted airplane hangar in San Diego! In 1983, the first named Costco location opened in Seattle.
The first Whole Foods was founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, and the chain has since grown into an international grocery giant with 473 stores in the U.S and U.K. The stores only sell high-quality products (many of which are USDA-certified organic as well as environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible) that meet with their strict standards of being “natural” — requirements for all of their products include being free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
Trader Joe’s has developed a loyal following for its amazing selection of frozen and packaged goods that can’t be bought anywhere else, as well as for its competitively low prices. Customers on Yelp love their customer service, describe the employees as “happy and lighthearted, helpful people,” and love that stores are always well-stocked with affordable items.
Publix was founded in Florida in 1930 and has now grown to operate 781 stores in that state alone, with additional stores in six other states. Simply put, Publix has great customer service, selection, and quality. “Go here instead of Walmart,” say reviewers.
The family-owned company prides itself on offering local and responsibly grown produce from its own organic farm. Founded in 1916, there are now 95 stores across New York (where there are 46 locations), Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Massachusetts. Wegmans also carries its own affordable health food brand and artisanal products, making it no surprise that this supermarket won the No. 1 spot in this list — as well as the title of best supermarket in New York in our ranking of the best grocery store in every state for 2018.