31. New Mexico
> Supermarket: Sprouts Farmers Market
> Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona
> Year founded: 2002
> Best independent grocery store: Mountain View Market Co+op, Las Cruces
The Arizona-based Sprouts chain, whose stated mission is to provide “natural” foods at affordable prices, now numbers more than 340 stores nationwide. The chain says that more than 90% of the 19,000-plus products they carry are natural or organic.
32. New York
> Supermarket: Trader Joe’s
> Headquarters: Monrovia, California
> Year founded: 1967
> Best independent grocery store: Rooster’s Market, White Plains
Since 1979, Trader Joe’s has been owned by a trust belonging to Germany’s Albrecht family, who also own the massive international Aldi supermarket chain, with more than 10,000 stores across Europe and the U.S. Trader Joe’s, meanwhile, is considerably smaller, with about 500 locations.
33. North Carolina
> Supermarket: Food Lion
> Headquarters: Salisbury, North Carolina
> Year founded: 1957
> Best independent grocery store: Tidal Creek Co-op, Wilmington
Under the umbrella of Belgium-based Ahold Delaize, Food Lion operates more than a thousand supermarkets in ten Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. The chain was founded as Food Town in Salisbury, North Carolina, which remains its home base, in 1957. It was renamed Food Lion in 1983.
34. North Dakota
> Supermarket: Hornbacher’s
> Headquarters: Fargo, North Dakota
> Year founded: 1951
> Best independent grocery store: Bisman Community Food Co-op, Bismarck
Hornbacher’s was a subsidiary of the major wholesale grocery distribution network SuperValu, until it was sold about a year ago to Coborn’s Inc. It operated four Cash Wise stores in Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, just across the Minnesota border. Coborn’s continues to run the Hornbacher’s markets — all six of them in the same area, also in the Fargo/Moorhead area — under their original name.
> Supermarket: Kroger
> Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
> Year founded: 1883
> Best independent grocery store: DeVitis Italian Market, Akron
From its modest beginnings 136 years ago in Cincinnati (still its home base), Kroger has grown into the largest grocery chain in the world, not counting the big-box multi-product retailers Walmart and Costco — and is also the world’s third-largest retail company of any kind, after those two big-box firms, based on revenue.