30 of America’s Most Popular Grocery Stores

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There are more than 38,000 supermarkets in the U.S. The vast majority of these — over 25,000 — are so-called conventional or traditional markets. The Food Marketing Institute defines these as stores offering a full line of groceries, meat, and produce, and generating annual sales of at least $2 million.

About another 3,500 supermarkets are categorized as specializing in natural and/or gourmet foods. These stores often do particularly good jobs with fruits and vegetables, and their knowledgeable customers know how to pick the best produce.

People shop for food in all kinds of places, of course. Some never stray further than their local all-purpose Kroger, Publix, Ralphs, or Stop & Shop. Others seek out hard-to-find comestibles in small boutique shops, or patronize big Asian, Italian, or Latino markets.

Still others — a lot of others — buy their food at Walmart (which is, along with everything else, America’s largest supermarket by far in both number of units and revenue) or other big-box stores. As Whole Foods and other chains have too few stores comparatively, Walmart continues to extend its grocery dominance.

And many, of course, spend their money at all of the above, depending on what they’re looking for. A business school study of grocery store customer loyalty last year found that 83% of shoppers regularly visited between four and nine stores for groceries over a 12-month period.

Among the factors that determine where people buy their food are convenience, store organization, cleanliness, price, shopper rewards programs, and availability of specific products — as well as such social issues as how a chain treats its employees or how the parent company is perceived to behave in general. (It’s interesting to note that no supermarket chains are ranked among companies people want to be part of if you look at employees’ satisfaction — these are the best companies to work for.)

24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of some of the most popular grocery stores around the country, based on the number of Yelp reviews they’ve received and the overall scores Yelp users have given them.

Not surprisingly, these include a wide range of places, from Trader Joe’s to Walmart, from conventional supermarkets to Asian and Italian specialty stores. All, it seems safe to assume, provide shoppers with high-quality things to eat and drink. And people — lots of people — love every one of them.

24/7 Tempo compiled this list by considering the total number of Yelp reviews and the cumulative scores given to almost 350 of the most popular supermarkets and other grocery stores around the country. Stores that were primarily delis or restaurants were excluded, even if they stocked a number of food products for retail sale. Because many large chains were widely reviewed and highly ranked — including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Costco — only the top-scoring representative of each chain was included. Yelp usage varies considerably according to various factors. For example, for whatever reason, Yelp users registered their opinions about grocery stores in California far more frequently than in other states — a fact reflected by the preponderance of entries from that state on this list.

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