The Grocery Store America Loves Most

May  5, 2017

Earlier this week, Morning Consult Intelligence, a company that uses data to measure customer satisfaction, released the results of a report on America’s most beloved brands. These findings—gleaned from surveying 200,000 customers between January and April this year—assess net favorability in brands across various industries, from retail and e-commerce to entertainment and media.

The Food and Beverage category was segmented into beer, food and beverage delivery, food and beverage products, grocery stores, and restaurants. The percentage numbers are more interesting than who beat whom, to my mind: Hershey and Campbell have approval ratings of 73% and 71%, respectively. Contrast this with Grubhub, the leader of the delivery category, and its measly 22% favorability rating (Postmates, at 15%, was second).

Who came out on top of the grocery store survey? Kroger, believe it or not. Of the top five in the Grocery category, Kroger maintained a 53% score, beating Whole Foods’ 48%, Safeway’s 40%, and Albertsons’ and Publix’s 33%.

These results have been met with mild befuddlement from most food and lifestyle media that’s centered in New York, where Kroger hasn't established locations quite as prominently as Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Foodtown, and Key Food. There’s a reason why Trader Joe’s and Wegmans didn’t factor into the list; the Morning Consult survey only included chains with a sizable national footprint. Kroger is pretty sprawling, boasting 2,796 stores in over 35 states, making it one of the largest retail chains in the country.

Shop the Story

Well, there you have it. Some of us love Aldi. Perhaps Lidl will usurp Kroger's throne once it arrives in the States and swallows the country. As for me, my vote likely would’ve gone to ShopRite if it were in contention (it's got fewer than 500 locations, sadly), but that’s just the Jersey kid in me speaking.

See the results of Morning Consult's Most Loved Brands here. Who would you have voted for? Let us know in the comments.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


EvaGaye August 23, 2022
Unfortunately the #1 store is in Texas. HEB takes the proverbial cake. I miss it so!!!
PanfriedVI August 23, 2022
How many stores could each subject name? Because that adds up to a lot mor than 100%
Cody R. April 30, 2018
If you live in Texas, you know HEB tops them all. I’ve heard so many people say that they end up missing it once they’ve moved away.
EvaGaye August 23, 2022
You got that right!!!
Mindy S. May 10, 2017
Kroger bought out Fred Meyer's here in the NW. The other day we went in to pick up a few groceries. My partner is a gluten free eater. He loves beer and went to go pick up some yummy Omission micro-brew beer (made in OR) and no where to be found. Turns out the dept. head doesn't want to carry it. What a pity. We won't be shopping at Kroger's anymore.
Kathryn May 7, 2017
I'm an eastern girl who moved west. I am missing Wegman's terribly. I have turned to Trader Joes & Sprouts, Kroger (Smith's) is third on my list.
Panfusine May 6, 2017
Wegmans all the way. No doubts about it! the quality, the variety.. UNBEATABLE
J F. May 8, 2017
Wegams just started operations here in ma. And unless ur into buying their label there is nothing of a bargain to b bought thete
Susan May 6, 2017
Kroger and Whole Foods are within two blocks of each other in my city. Kroger competes very favorably in terms of quality and choice, and beats WF hands down when it comes to price. Having lived and shopped all over the country (NE, mid-Atlantic, mid-west, Deep South, PNW, Southern California, upper-Midwest, mid-south), that Kroger edged the rest is not much of a surprise.
Sheila H. May 5, 2017
Wegman's without a doubt, in a heartbeat, with my eyes closed! If their footprint would just reach me out here in CA.... I serendipitously met Danny Wegman (by himself!) in his flagship store (Pittsford NY), and he was gracious as I was trying not to gush about his lovely store. It's consistently one of the top 5 places to work as well. I'd gush more, but you just have to know. When you go, you'll know. There's no one else on the list as far as I'm concerned.
La'Chia May 6, 2017
I moved to CA from Maryland and I really miss Wegmans! Their store brand is high quality and they have great prices on name brands. Plus the staff was incredibly friendly! I used to love picking up my groceries there every Monday after work. Out here, Nugget is probably the closest thing out here but it's not the same by a long shot.
creamtea May 5, 2017
Have barely heard of and never seen Kroger's or Wegman's, so yes, completely befuddled. Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Fairway for me.
foofaraw May 5, 2017
I am surprised it is not Aldi. I went to Aldi and buy most of my 'western' grocery, go to ethnic/Asian market to buy 'exotic' spices, vegetable, and package food, and sometimes normal supermarket/Whole Foods for specific item/organic items. I go to Kroger but almost never got anything from there. There is one Kroger near our place that just closed down.
Stephanie B. May 5, 2017
I think Wegman's, not Disney, deserves the tagline: "happiest place on earth."
Panfusine May 6, 2017
Jackson F. May 5, 2017
I'd love to see a similar survey done regionally—can't imagine Kroger beating Wegman's anywhere they go head to head!
Niknud May 5, 2017
Probably not, but as a person who lives somewhere without Wegman's (sniff sniff), I am more than happy with Krogers. Their organic brand (Simple Truth) is reliably good and affordable.
Connor B. May 5, 2017