The 14 Cheapest and Best Grocery Stores

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New report lists the Cheapest and Best Grocery Stores
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H-E-B has replaced Trader Joe’s as the nation’s best overall grocery store for its combination of quality and prices, according to a new report based on customer perceptions from data firm Dunnhumby.

The third annual grocery edition of the Dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index (RPI) provides some in-depth insights into what customers value in a store, as well as how grocers are performing.

Shoppers Pick Favorite Stores for Prices, Quality and Overall Experience

This year’s report was developed from an online survey of 7,000 to 10,000 U.S. households. It features rankings of more than six dozen of your favorite grocers, including:

Acme Markets, Albertsons, Aldi, Amazon, Amazon Go, Big Y Foods, BI-LO, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Brookshire Grocery, Costco Wholesale, Family Fare, Fareway Stores, Food City, Food Lion, Food4Less/Foods Co., Fred Meyer, Fresh Thyme, Fry’s Food Stores, Giant Food Stores, Giant Eagle, Hannaford, Harris Teeter, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, Ingles Markets, Jewel-Osco, King Soopers, Kroger, Lidl, Lowes Foods, Market Basket, Meijer, Peapod, Price Chopper, Publix, Raley’s Supermarkets, Ralphs, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Save Mart Supermarkets, Schnucks, Shaw’s and Star Market, ShopRite Supermarkets, Smart & Final, Smith’s Food and Drug, Sprouts Farmers Market, Stater Bros. Markets, Stop & Shop, SuperValu, Target, The Fresh Market, Tops Friendly Markets, Trader Joe’s, Vons, Walgreens, Walmart, Wegmans Food Markets, Weis Markets, WinCo Foods, and Winn-Dixie Stores.

Some key findings in the report reveal that price and quality are two major factors that consumers use to determine where they shop.

Let’s look at the report’s assessment for price first, then quality:

Cheapest Prices

When it comes to affordability — the most important attribute, according to the report — these grocers were considered to have the best prices:

  1. Aldi
  2. Market Basket
  3. WinCo Foods
  4. Lidl
  5. Trader Joe’s
  6. Costco
  7. Walmart
  8. Food 4 Less
  9. Amazon
  10. H-E-B
  11. Sam’s Club
  12. Amazon Go
  13. BJ’s
  14. ShopRite

Best Quality

When it comes to quality — which has to do with things like freshness, healthiness and promoting minimal food waste — these grocery stores got top honors:

  1. Wegmans Food Markets
  2. The Fresh Market
  3. Fresh Thyme
  4. Trader Joe’s
  5. Publix
  6. Sprouts
  7. Hy-Vee
  8. Lowes Foods
  9. H-E–B
  10. Ingles
  11. Harris Teeter
  12. Raley’s
  13. Costco
  14. Big Y

Meanwhile, here are some of the other categories that grocers ranked for:

Digital

The report included stores that excelled in digital attributes, including those who provide shoppers with an “easy-to-shop online or mobile app-based experience.”

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the world’s top online retailer Amazon and its new brick-and-mortar concept Amazon Go ranked #1 and #2 in this category. Rounding out the top five were Peapod, Target and Walmart.

Operations

The report also ranked stores on their operations, or how they convey their prices to customers and whether their shelves are stocked with what people want.

H-E-B came in at #1 for this category, followed by Costco, Market Basket, BJ’s and Sam’s Club.

Convenience

As for convenience, things like proximity, product variety and “one-stop shopability” were all considered.

The top five stores that offer the most convenience are: Walmart, Publix, Market Basket, ShopRite and Jewel-Osco.

Speed

The rankings also listed stores that were the best at speed, defined in the report as “time savings when the shopper is at the store.”

Amazon was #1, followed by Aldi, Fareway, Brookshire’s and The Fresh Market.

Discounts

Also important to bargain shoppers, the report shows which stores were tops when it comes to widely accessible discounts, rewards and information.

The best for discounts were: Fry’s Food Stores, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Smith’s and Tops Friendly Markets.

Overall Winners

Considering all the categories as a whole, here are the best overall grocery stores according to the Dunnhumby report:

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  1. H-E-B
  2. Trader Joe’s
  3. Amazon
  4. Market Basket
  5. Wegmans Food Markets
  6. Costco
  7. Aldi
  8. Sam’s Club
  9. Walmart
  10. Publix
  11. WinCo Foods
  12. Fresh Thyme
  13. Sprouts
  14. ShopRite

Final Thought

Grocery shopping is a necessary pastime in most households but as the report shows, cost continues to be a major consideration. This grocery shopping guide will help you with ideas to save more, spend less and keep your grocery budget on track!

More Grocery Resources on Clark.com:

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