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 mildbefuddlement 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.
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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.
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.