It all has to do with reputation—even among shoppers who haven't stepped foot in the store.
While the modern shopper often turns to more than just one grocery store for the best finds (like packaged snacks at Trader Joe's or cheap produce at Aldi), there's only one that can be voted America's best—and we weren't too surprised to learn which one snagged the title earlier this year.
Northeast grocery chain Wegmans has earned the honor of being America's favorite grocery store for the third year in a row, according to a survey conducted by Market Force. And we now know why it's America's favorite, thanks to the results of a new survey from Harris Insights & Analytics.
More than 75 percent of American shoppers told Market Force that they enjoyed their shopping experience with Wegmans earlier this year, but the Harris Poll surveys more than 25,000 Americans about more than just grocery stores. The organization behind this poll analyzes the public's opinion about any and all businesses. Wegman's, impressively, is the first grocery store to make it in the Harris Poll's top 100 companies. It's ranked just behind Amazon.com in the number two spot.
25,800 shoppers were interviewed between December 11 and January 12. Wegmans' earned 82.75 points out of a possible 100. The supermarket also earned top awards in different categories in the Harris Poll's report, including workplace environment and social responsibility, where the supermarket outpaced Whole Foods Market this year (which is known for its awareness efforts).
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“Wegmans has consistently performed well in our study because they understand the importance of delivering an exceptional customer experience in their stores,” Brad Christian, Market Force's chief customer officer, told Food & Wine. “Their stores are large, inviting and well stocked, and they offer a wide array of specialty food items. But, beyond that, they do a great job staffing all of their departments with team members who are knowledgeable and who engage the customers, and that creates an enjoyable experience that sets them apart in shoppers’ minds.”
In addition to Wegmans, the Harris Poll revealed that Texas-based H-E-B Grocery scored just above 81 percent on their poll, and the third best performing supermarket was Publix, with a score of 80.81.
The rest of the Harris Poll's results are a little bit different from the widely circulated Market Force ranking we learned about earlier this year—out of all supermarkets ranked just on customer's reputations, Aldi and Trader Joe's came in fourth place, followed by Costco, then Kroger in sixth, and finally Whole Foods.
Chances are you don't have a Wegmans nearby—it's actually a pretty small chain. There are just under 100 locations scattered across the Mid-Atlantic region, with many stores in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. But given the recent accolades, it wouldn't be surprising if they start growing. If you're wondering if America's favorite grocery store is opening a location near you, Wegmans keeps a list of all its new and upcoming stores right here.