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Wegmans tops national grocery store survey

Wegmans has landed at the top of another survey, this time dethroning Trader Joe’s for the title of America’s favorite grocery store.

According to Market Force Information’s annual Retail Grocery Study, 76 percent of Wegmans customers gave the company top scores in terms of overall satisfaction and the likelihood they would recommend the store to friends.

Publix had a score of 75 percent, Trader Joe’s 73 percent, Hy-Vee Food stores 68 percent, ALDI 65 percent and Costco 60 percent. Walmart was at the bottom of the list with 29 percent.

Trader Joe’s had placed at the top of the list for the past four years, but fell to third place this time, trailing Florida-based Publix.

ALDI got the top score in terms of pricing, whereas Wegmans ranked eighth. New Jersey-based ShopRite scored at the top for good sales and promotions. Trader Joe’s took the top spot for cashier courtesy while ALDI ranked third and Wegmans ranked fifth.

Publix swept the remaining five categories of fast checkouts, cleanliness, availability of items, ease of finding items and specialty department service. Wegmans ranked second in all of those categories, except fast checkouts, where ALDI placed second and Wegmans placed fifth.

In previous years, Wegmans didn’t garner enough votes to make the ranking. This year, it somehow managed to double its votes and secure the top spot.

“It suggests that Wegmans has grown in popularity and continues to attract a loyal following,” said Rebecca Scanlan, a spokeswoman for Market Force. “More shoppers are doing their primary grocery shopping at Wegmans.”

Market Force said Wegmans had no involvement or influence over the study and that Wegmans customers were not specifically sought out to participate.

The survey also showed more consumers are purchasing organic food. Nearly half of customers said they prefer to purchase organic products when they’re available, especially produce, meat and dairy.

Prepared foods are increasingly popular, too, with about 70 percent of consumers buying them at least once a month.

Though grocers continue to expand their offerings of so-called “click-and-collect” services, which allow customers to shop online and pick up their bagged groceries, 99 percent of shoppers still pull items off shelves themselves.

Printed newspaper circulars are still going strong, with 79 percent of shoppers planning their shopping lists around the promotions offered in them. Another 65 percent of respondents clip coupons.

Customers across the country were surveyed online in February. More than half of the respondents reported annual household incomes of more than $50,000. About 67 percent of those surveyed were women, 33 percent were men.