Report: The Best and Cheapest Grocery Stores

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With food prices still stubbornly high, it pays to grocery shop with a strategy in mind. While price may be the main incentive when deciding where to shop, there are other factors — like quality and convenience — to consider.

Customer data science company Dunnhumby’s Retailer Preference Index (RPI) has released a report showing which grocery chains respond best to consumer needs, from those with the easiest websites to use to retailers that consistently offer rewards and promotions.

What Grocery Stores Are Best When It Comes to Price, Quality and More?

For the first time, the annual report is culled from multiple years of data, 2020 to 2022, which the report calls the “pandemic grocery market upheaval” — and shows how customers and stores alike responded.

The report, which encompasses data on 63 retailers, analyzes the following “customer preference drivers”:

Dunnhumby says it developed its report from an online survey of 10,000 U.S. households. The rankings are based on retailers’ RPI scores, which weigh the factors listed above.

The retailers listed in the report are:

ACME Markets, Albertsons, Aldi, Amazon, Amazon Fresh, Big Y, BJ’s Wholesale, Brookshires, Commisary, Costco Wholesale, CVS Pharmacy, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Family Fare, Fareway, Food 4 Less / Foods Co, Food City, Food Lion, Fred Meyer, Fresh Thyme, Fry’s Food Stores, Giant Eagle, Giant Foods, The GIANT Company, Grocery Outlet, Hannaford, Harris Teeter, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, Ingles, Jewel-Osco, King Soopers, Kroger, Lidl, Lowes Foods, Marc’s, Market Basket, Meijer, Price Chopper, Price Rite, Publix, Ralphs, Rite Aid, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Save A Lot, Save Mart, Schnucks, Shaw’s / Star Market, ShopRite, Smart & Final, Smith’s, Sprouts Farmers Market, Stater Bros.Markets, Stop & Shop, Target, The Fresh Market, Tops, Trader Joe’s, Vons, Walgreens, Walmart, Walmart Neighborhood Market, Wegmans, Weis, WinCo, Winn-Dixie

“’Price, Promotions, and Rewards’ is the most important priority for most customers, followed by ‘Quality’ and ‘Digital'” says the report.

We’ll explore all of these metrics further, but first, let’s look at the report’s assessment of the best overall grocery stores.

Overall Winners

  1. H-E-B
  2. Costco
  3. Amazon
  4. Wegmans
  5. Sam’s Club
  6. Market Basket
  7. Amazon Fresh
  8. Trader Joe’s
  9. WinCo Foods
  10. BJ’s Wholesale
  11. Target
  12. Aldi
  13. ShopRite
  14. Walmart Neighborhood Market
  15. Walmart

Here are the top five retailers for the other categories, according to Dunnhumby.

Price, Promotions and Rewards

Some retailers have made a concerted effort to win on cost, even to the extent that they tie it into their promotions and rewards programs to drive customer incentive and retention.


Here are the report’s top five grocery stores based on price, promotions and rewards:

  1. WinCo
  2. Food 4 Less
  3. Market Basket
  4. Grocery Outlet 
  5. Aldi


Grocer quality involves an array of metrics that includes product freshness and variety, natural and organic choices as well as the availability of private brands. Wegmans has held the top spot since 2017, the report says.

The report’s top grocers for quality are:

  1. Wegmans
  2. Trader Joe’s
  3. The Fresh Market
  4. Sprouts
  5. Fresh Thyme


When it comes to digital operations, which the report refers to as “omnichannel” methods, Amazon, Target and Walmart set themselves apart. But H-E-B and Kroger / Fry’s may offer the strongest competition down the road.

  1. Amazon
  2. Amazon Fresh
  3. Target
  4. Sam’s Club
  5. Walmart


The best grocers when it comes to operations, according to the report, are:

  1. WinCo
  2. Costco
  3. Market Basket
  4. BJ’s Wholesale Club
  5. H-E-B

The report notes that “WinCo wins on ‘Operations’ and becomes the only retailer in the history of our study to occupy the top spot in two separate pillars in a single year (also 1st in ‘Price, Promotions, Rewards’).”

Speed and Convenience

As for convenience, things like proximity, product variety and the ability to buy everything you need from one store were all considered.

The report says the most convenient stores are:

  1. Fareway
  2. Publix
  3. Aldi
  4. Fresh Thyme
  5. The Fresh Market

Final Thoughts

From the lists above, you can see that the value of a particular grocery store has just as much to do with a shopper’s personal circumstances as a retailer’s specific offerings. No matter where you shop, money expert Clark Howard and Team Clark want you to look for ways to save money on food. That includes:

“The period of upheaval from 2020 – 2022 resulted in an increase in the importance of saving customers money, specifically through leveraging digital capabilities to deliver more personalized pricing, promotions and rewards,” the report says.


For tips on how to lower your food costs, read our guide on How To Save on Groceries.

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