> Supermarket: Harris Teeter
> Headquarters: Matthews, North Carolina
> Year founded: 1960
> Best independent grocery store: Shields Market, Richmond
Harris Teeter grew out of two independently owned North Carolina grocery stores, W. T. Harris in Charlotte and Teeters Food Mart in Mooresville. The two merged in 1960 to form Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. Now a wholly owned subsidiary of the massive Kroger Company, Harris Teeter operates more than 230 stores and 14 fuel centers in seven states and Washington, D.C.
> Supermarket: Fred Meyer
> Headquarters: Portland, Oregon
> Year founded: 1922
> Best independent grocery store: Leschi Market, Seattle
The Fred Meyer hypermarkets, part of the Kroger Company, are huge, occupying an average of 150,000 square feet and carrying more than 225,000 products each — not just food and drink but also many other kinds of merchandise.
48. West Virginia
> Supermarket: Kroger
> Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
> Year founded: 1883
> Best independent grocery store: Mountain People’s Co-op, Morgantown
The Kroger stores participate in their parent company’s Zero Hunger / Zero Waste program. Noting that while hunger is an issue for one in eight Americans, some 40% of the food produced in the U.S. gets thrown away. Through soliciting contributions, donating to food banks, and offering zero-waste recipes, among other initiatives, Kroger is committed “to ending hunger in our communities and eliminating waste across our company by 2025.”
> Supermarket: Woodman’s Markets
> Headquarters: Janesville, Wisconsin
> Year founded: 1919
> Best independent grocery store: Riverwest Grocery and Café, Milwaukee
A produce stand — opened by John Daniel Woodman in Janesville, southeast of Madison, in 1919 — was the genesis of this popular Wisconsin chain. Unlike many supermarkets that started small, though, Woodman’s has stayed small. It now consists of only 17 stores, all in Wisconsin or Illinois, accounting for over $1 billion in annual sales. Though the number of units is small, the units themselves are not. Typical store size is about 240,000 square feet.
> Supermarket: Albertsons
> Headquarters: Boise, Idaho
> Year founded: 1939
> Best independent grocery store: Grant Street Grocery and Market, Casper
This is the namesake chain of the Albertsons Companies, which operates numerous chains in 34 states and the nation’s capital, as well as the meal kit company Plated and almost 1,750 pharmacies. The Albertsons Companies Foundation is a major contributor to hunger relief, education, cancer research, and other social programs.