Wegmans, Publix, Trader Joe's are consumers' favorites, survey finds

Photo (c) Wegmans

Walmart finished dead last in all categories

Publix and Wegmans aren't much like Trader Joe's, but the three grocery chains are American shoppers' favorites, an annual survey finds.

Publix and Wegmans tied for first place in this year's survey of 12,700 shoppers conducted by Market Force Information, with Trader Joe’s coming in at a very close second and H-E-B coming in third. This is the second consecutive year that Wegmans has held the top spot in the annual study after unseating long-running favorite Trader Joe’s in 2016.

Publix, which ranked second for the past four years, earned a first-place tie with Wegmans, with each scoring 77% on Market Force’s Customer Loyalty Index. Trader Joe’s narrowly missed the lead spot with 76%, and H-E-B made the top three for the first time with 69% - a 10% increase from 2016. ALDI and Harris Teeter rounded out the top five with 68% and 66%, respectively.

Publix Super Markets is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the country and has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For every year since the list’s inception. 

Wegmans, founded in 1916, is known for its fresh produce, reasonable prices, and massive stores. The New York-based chain is expanding steadily and, with a focus on employee training, creating superfans eager for a new location to open near their home.  

What sets one grocer apart from the others in shoppers’ minds? For one, being able to find the items they want, a category where Publix was a clear leader. Publix was also found to have the cleanest stores and fastest checkout speeds and was a close second to Trader Joe’s for cashier courtesy. Wegmans ranked highest for its specialty department service and a close second for item availability.

ALDI once again led for value, followed by WinCo Foods and Costco. Harris Teeter, Hy-Vee, ALDI and H-E-B all fared well in the rankings, while Walmart landed at the bottom in all categories but one.

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