41. South Dakota
> Supermarket: Hy-Vee
> Headquarters: West Des Moines
> Year founded: 1930
> Best independent grocery store: Pomegranate Market, Sioux Falls
Walmart dominates the Midwestern market area encompassing Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota — as it dominates the U.S. grocery business in general — but Hy-Vee is a strong competitor, following Walmart’s 32% market share in the region, with a 20.6% share of its own. The chain has 11 stores in South Dakota, seven of them in Sioux Falls.
> Supermarket: Kroger
> Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
> Year founded: 1883
> Best independent grocery store: Three Rivers Market, Knoxville
While the trend in supermarkets seems to be towards smaller stores, Kroger’s newer units span typically 65,000 square feet or more. They stock as many as 50,000 items each. In addition, the almost 2,500 markets operating under various Kroger banners sell enough flowers to make the company the world’s largest florist.
> Supermarket: H-E-B
> Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
> Year founded: 1905
> Best independent grocery store: Jimmy’s Food Store, Dallas
The sixth-largest grocery chain in America (not counting Walmart and Costco), with annual sales of almost $20 billion, H-E-B descends from a food store opened in Kerrville, Texas, in 1905 by Florence Butt. Her son, Howard E. Butt, took over and expanded the enterprise in the 1920s, and his initials gave it its modern name. Still family-owned, it operates more than 350 stores in Texas and northeastern Mexico.
> Supermarket: Smith’s Food and Drug
> Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
> Year founded: 1911
> Best independent grocery store: Kim Thành Supermarket, Salt Lake City
In the 1980s, under the third generation of Smith family ownership, the supermarket chain phased out its smaller conventional markets and superstores, replacing them with combination food and drug outlets — some as big as 84,000 square feet. In 1997, the chain merged with Oregon-based Fred Meyer, and in 1999 the combined enterprise was merged into the giant Kroger Company.
> Supermarket: Shaw’s Supermarkets
> Headquarters: West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
> Year founded: 1860
> Best independent grocery store: City Market / Onion River Co-op, Burlington
One of the oldest continuously operating supermarket chains in the country, Shaw’s was born out of a small grocery store opened in Portland, Maine, by George Clinton Shaw in 1860. Another Maine resident, Maynard A. Davis, founded a chain called BPM in Massachusetts in 1919, and subsequently bought Shaw’s operation. The two companies were operated independently, growing and eventually, in 1979, merging. Shaw’s became part of the Albertson Companies in 2013, and there are 154 stores under the Shaw’s name today throughout New England.