Are These the Worst Supermarkets in America?

Consumer Reports put major supermarkets to the test. How did yours stack up?

Photo Modified: Flickr / Mike Mozart / CC BY 4.0

Walmart Supercenter received low grades across the board.

Unless you shop for food exclusively via FreshDirect or are rich enough to have someone do your grocery shopping for you, you most likely spend a fair amount of time at the supermarket, which means you most likely have a love-hate relationship with it. Some supermarkets are excellent, but others, well, not so much. Every year, Consumer Reports releases a list of the best and worst supermarkets, and these are the worst. 

Are These the Worst Supermarkets in America? (Slideshow)

There are plenty of factors that can make a supermarket experience miserable. It can be crowded, with narrow and dirty aisles, there could be a long line to check out, advertised specials can be out of stock, and they might simply not stock the particular items you’re looking for. Consumer Reports asked 63,000 subscribers to weigh in on these factors for more than 50 of the country’s largest grocery store chains. The results might surprise you.

At the top of the list for the third consecutive year was east-coast chain Wegmans, which earned 90 out of 100 points. According to Consumer Reports, the results of the survey show that consumers are increasingly rejecting overly processed and packaged foods in favor of fresh foods, prefer locally-sourced foods and like to know where it was sourced from, and don’t expect to pay an arm and a leg for high-quality food. They also enjoy the availability of a large quantity of store-prepared meals. The average shopper makes 83 supermarket runs annually, racking up a tab of about $5,400, and they’re demanding that it be money well-spent. Some more interesting data from the report? 45 percent of respondents said they don’t shop at the nearest supermarket, choosing instead to shop further away because of lower prices; three out of 10 switched supermarkets due to poor selection, and more than half of respondents had at least one complaint about their supermarket.


Respondents were asked to score the supermarkets on service (factoring in checkout speed and employee friendliness), price, cleanliness, local produce quality, and freshness of meat and produce. So read on to learn which 15 supermarkets came in on the bottom of the list. While it might not be feasible, depending on where you live, to seek out a new supermarket, if one of these is your local chain you might want to take the extra time to drive somewhere that’s a little better.