These Are the Top 10 Grocery Stores in America
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According to a survey of nearly 13,000 shoppers across the nation.
These Are the Top 10 Grocery Stores in America
The 10 Most Popular Grocery Stores in the US in 2018
Wegmans, a Northeastern grocery chain, has been named “America’s Favorite Grocery Store” for the third year in a row, according to an annual survey conducted by Market Force. Each year, Market Force surveys over 12,800 shoppers, asking them questions about the most beloved grocery stores in the country.
The management firm's survey covered everything from how fast the checkout lines were to store cleanliness and item availability. While Wegmans didn't earn top distinctions on each category, overall, it earned top recognition for customers who felt loyal shopping at the regional chain.
So who else made the list for America’s favorites?
2. Publix Super Markets
Publix, a Florida-based chain, took a close second, earning only one percent less than Wegmans based on customer loyalty. This chain exists in the Southeastern US, with outposts in states from Florida to Maryland. Publix earned some love for their beloved “Pub Subs” from the deli section, and was also voted “cleanest,” according to the survey.
3. Trader Joe's
SOPA Images LightRocket via Getty Images
The nationwide chain has gained a cult-following for its ready-to-eat options as well as its freezer section, inexpensive wines, and tasty seasonal snacks comes in third, at only two percent lower than Wegmans. Trader Joe’s is popular with millenials and older adults alike with their low prices and cheery atmosphere. According to the survey, TJ’s was voted “fastest checkout” as well.
Aldi has been in the news lately, from their precious holiday carrot characters to the "Wine Advent Calendar Craze" of 2018. This German-based chain provides shoppers with a no-frills shopping experience and was voted “best value for the money” according to the survey. Their organic line is an inexpensive way to buy your favorite superfoods in bulk.
You won’t find this store outside of Texas borders, but H-E-B was still able to make it into America’s top five. From cowboy boot-shaped blocks of cheese to Texas-shaped tortilla chips, H-E-B is worth a stop just for the experience if you are ever in the Lonestar State.
The sixth favorite grocery store is unique, in that many of its locations also include other services—like gas stations, banks, and urgent care centers. A few locations even operate alongside barber shops, electronic stores, bars, and more. Fry’s is now part of The Kroger Co., but can only be found in Arizona, so make time for a visit if you're in the Grand Canyon state.
7. WinCo Foods
WinCo dominates the West Coast, with several locations in Texas and Oklahoma as well. Shoppers love the brand’s freshly-baked bread, local produce, and bulk items, Spoon University reports. The company is also uniquely employee-owned, with their top goal simply being to save you money. Sounds like a good reason to be considered one of the favorite grocery stores in America to us!
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images—LightRocket/Getty Images
Costco is the highest-ranking of the membership-only warehouse clubs, ranking 8th. Their Kirkland brand is well-known, even by non-members around the country. The chain is popular for its bulk items, sheet cakes, rotisserie chicken, as well as their evolving food court which recently added healthier items. They also offer appliances, clothing, and other housewares.
9. Harris Teeter
This grocery chain is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and operates across the Atlantic seaboard. Also part of the Kroger umbrella, Harris Teeter is known for its large wine aisles and high-quality prepared foods.
10. (Tied) Sam's Club
Photo courtesy of Sam's club.
Sam’s Club snags the tenth spot on the list, and although it ranks lower than Costco, some would say Sam’s has more membership benefits. Members’ health is prioritized with free health screenings and inexpensive immunizations—Sam's Club even offers health insurance. Whether you need your taxes done (yes, really), new glasses, or just to restock your favorite cereal, Sam’s Club has you covered.
10. (Tied) Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods tied with Sam’s Club for the tenth favorite grocery chain in America this year. Whether you go to Whole Foods for a healthy hot meal or for special ingredients you can’t find anywhere else, the fast-growing grocery chain certainly has a fan following. Whole Foods also carries an inexpensive generic brand known as 365 that allows you to eat organic (or almond butter by the spoonful) on a budget.
These are the 13 cheapest grocery stores in America
Grocery shopping is often filled with difficult decisions. Gruyere or Gouda? Gluten-free or grass-fed ground beef? Two bags of Goldfish or just one? These little decisions can add up in a big way by the time you get to the checkout counter.
But a new study shows that perhaps the most important food buying decision occurs before shoppers even enter the store. While many people might expect to pay a premium for organic produce or certain cuts of meat, according to the Dunnhumby retail preference index (which measures consumer data), food prices on the exact same items can vary widely by store.
1. Folgers Classic Roast Coffee Singles
If there’s one thing that I crave when backpacking, it’s coffee. You can’t beat sipping on a hot cup o’ joe in the morning while relaxing and taking in the view. I’ve tried many coffee making gizmos and lots of different instant coffee crap, but one of the best cups of coffee I’ve had while backpacking comes from the most simple solution. Folgers Classic Medium Roast Coffee Singles, 19-Count Single Servings (Pack of 6) simply rock! Identical to a tea bag, just drop your coffee bag into a cup of hot water, let it brew and in a few minutes, a real cup of quality coffee. Each of the bags comes vacuum sealed in its own foil packet for freshness, and you get a comfort from home while saving weight by no need for coffee making gadgets. As the slogan goes, “The best part of waking up (backpacking) is Folgers in your (camping) cup!”
2. Instant Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
This is one of those obvious things you might bring from the grocery store. The not so obvious thing is that I found mixing instant hot chocolate with that good ol’ cup of joe I just mentioned makes for a fantastic mocha!! It tastes so good you almost feel guilty when your buddies take a sip then immediately abondon their instant stuff.
3. Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes (and Gravy!)
After a long day of hiking, your tired and hungry, and your ready to eat something that is both filling and replentishes your energy. Try a big bowl of mashed potatoes. There’s lots of options for instant mashed potatoes but most require addition of milk and butter. Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, Four Cheese, 4-Ounce Package (Pack of 12) only require water and come in single serving packets (enough for 2 people) with flavored choices like 4 cheese, roasted garlic and butter flavored.
But what good are mashed potatoes without gravy? Just pick up (or make) a small packet of powdered instant gravy in the grocery store. I make the potatoes first in my pot, then let them sit for a few minutes while I boil and mix the gravy in a pan…pour it on your potatoes and it’s like thanksgiving in the boonies!!
4. Instant Macaroni and Cheese
I don’t normally eat instant mac & cheese, but it tastes gourmet when I’m backpacking. Kraft makes singles serving cups call Kraft Easy Mac. Just pour in hot water, cover for a couple minutes and its ready – just like Cup Noodles.
5. Instant Oatmeal
Instant oatmeal is an easy solution for breakfast that tastes good, is easy to make and weighs very little, plus takes up little room in your bear canister. I like Quaker Instant Oatmeal – specifically their variety packs with fruit & cream, cinnamon, maple syrup and other flavors.
6. Jolly Ranchers
Jolly Ranchers are awesome for the trail. Easy to pop in your mouth and the slow but consistent dissolving of sugar gives you a bit of pep when hiking, and keeps your mouth moist too helping you conserve your water.
7. Fully Cooked Bacon
I found that generally, freeze dried eggs from Mountain house or other backpacking meals tend to be decent. What’s lacking is the meat. This is where Fully Cooked Bacon comes in handy. Lightweight, and no time spent cooking. Not to mention not having to deal with a big mess of scorched, greasy pans and bear-attracting bacon grease, this is an ideal backpacking breakfast companion to start your day off right!
8. Kool-aid Packets
Kool-aid makes individual serving packets of all the favorite flavors. It’s all sugar but who cares when your backpacking!
9. Top Ramen
I don’t think there is a backpacker alive that doesn’t bring top ramen (or at least consider it).
10. Your Favorite
We’d like to know what your favorite backpacking grocery store foods are. Just shoot us an comment below and post your idea!
These are the best grocery stores in America, according to shoppers
Wegmans has once again been voted America's favorite grocery chain.
The New-York based chain, which has fewer than 100 stores, beat out national rivals such as Target, Trader Joe's, and Walmart to be crowned the best grocery store in the United States for the third consecutive year. In 2017, it was tied for first place with Publix, which is based in the Southeast.
More than 12,700 consumers were asked to rate their favorite US grocery chains on attributes like best value, fastest service, and cleanliness in an annual survey done by Market Force Information, a consumer insights firm.
Both Wegmans and Publix scored highest on store cleanliness and item availability, but Wegmans won the top spot for its specialty department service – these include a deli, coffee shop, and bakery. Trader Joe's came in at third place and was credited for its fast checkouts and courteous cashiers.
Wegmans has landed at the top of the list for several years in a row thanks in large part to its loyal fans who praise it for its ready-to-eat section. It is best known for offering a ton of variety in its product selection. The company has said that e ach location stocks up to 70,000 products, while the average supermarket stocks slightly more than 40,000 products, according to the Food Marketing Institute.
Market Force's scoring system is based on customers' satisfaction and likelihood to recommend the store to others. Take a look at the rankings below and see how your favorite store fared in the survey:
Frozen orange chicken? Tubs of chocolate peanut butter cups? Name-brand alcohol for $4 less than at the supermarket? Awesome. A guy named Joe Coulombe opened the first store in Pasadena in 1967, inspired by a book called “White Shadows in the South Seas” and the Disneyland Jungle Cruise ride. I’m not alone in my enthusiasm. I follow a woman on Instagram whose sole posting purpose is to upload her weekly haul at TJ’s. But despite my intense love for this half-baked grocery store, I recognize that there are only a handful of products actually acceptable to buy once you cross over into adulthood. They are (in order of acceptableness): everything bagel spice, caramelized onion dip, all the cheeses, dried fruit, nuts (you can create a pretty exceptional cheese and charcuterie board via TJ’s), eggs and mango sorbet that tastes like real mangos. — Jenn Harris
Multiple locations at traderjoes.com
Your local farmer&rsquos market remains a top-notch source for diverse produce. Markets across the country have been taking extra steps to ensure safety. This has included measures such as having vendors set up stands far apart, requiring shoppers to put on disposable gloves, and disinfecting scales after produce weighing. Many markets have even done away with a market staple: free samples. At some markets, you&rsquoll see bottles of hand sanitizer on vendor tables.
The beauty of the farmers&rsquo market is that you can buy from many different farms in one place. You can go in without any firm idea of what you want to buy or cook that night, and walk out with some just-laid eggs, eye-popping purple cabbage, and new dinner plans. Some farms have developed pre-ordering systems that allow for minimal contact, seeing your produce bagged, ready, and prepaid for by the time you arrive.
Keep up with your local newspaper&rsquos food section to track how your local markets have adapted. Additionally, you can email your local market manager or visit market websites or social media for information about new hours and changes.
Instead of having the farm come to you, you can go to the farm. (Hey, you&rsquore probably due for some socially distant time outside the house.) Farm stands are onsite stores that offer products grown or made on the farm. Not all farms have them, so call ahead if you aren&rsquot sure. There&rsquos nothing like being able to see, right there on the tree, plant, or vine, exactly where your food comes from&mdashand walking away with a few fresh bags. Make sure to avoid farm stands with crowds and follow the proper protocol for shopping safely.
A CSA, or community supported agriculture, is a farm subscription that gets you periodic produce&mdashwhatever the farm has in season. CSAs come in various sizes and frequencies. Many are weekly. Some have an option to add other products, like eggs or meat, into your regular box. Traditionally, CSAs have been available for pickup at farmers&rsquo markets, farms, and at a select few other destinations depending on the individual CSA. But in the time of coronavirus, many farms have expanded pickup points to restaurants, markets, and other local hubs. Some farms will even deliver your CSA share to your doorstep. To sign up for a CSA, contact a local farm and see if they offer one.
These days, food industry professionals have had to get creative to survive. One result: Some restaurants, butchers, bakers, and other local food artisans have started to carry products from farmers, available to-go. Further, in many states and cities, some restaurants have even stopped cooking food and turned into full-on grocery stores.
Support Restaurants and Artisans that Source Locally.
Across the country, restaurants have moved to takeaway, delivery, and drive-thru models. You can do two good (and delicious) deeds at once by getting dinner from an eatery that sources from local farms. Your dinner will support both the restaurant and its farm vendors. Additionally, purchasing certain craft products sourced from the nearby land offers a similar double benefit. Whether bread, beer, pasta, hot sauce, pie, or whatever your favorite local products are, buying them now will help keep artisans and farmers in business&mdashand keep you eating well in the weeks ahead.
The Top 10 Foods You Didn't Know Contain Soy
It's not an exaggeration to say that soy is in nearly everything today.
The following ingredients all mean soy: hydrolized soy protein, edamame, soy protein isolate and soybean oil. It's also important to note that the following ingredients often contain soy as well: vegetable oil, hydrolized vegetable protein, vegetable broth and artificial flavour. Here are the top 10 foods the average person probably doesn't realize contain soy.
1. Salad Dressing
Every bottle of salad dressing out of the 123 types in my grocery aisle contains soy or soy bean oil, including brands like Kraft, Newmans Own and Presidents Choice products, which is the home brand for Loblaw grocery stores in Canada.
Out of the 82 varieties of bread, including the very fancy home made looking ACE bakery products, only one did not list soy as an ingredient. That one did, however, list vegetable oil. And when I called, they confirmed that they did use soy oil in their vegetable oil.
All kids love crackers and hooray! I found two varieties that do not contain soy: Stoned Wheat Thins and President's Choice brand stone milled crackers. Unfortunately, Goldfish and the other 16 kids branded crackers all contain soy.
4. Premade Dessert
Want to grab a cake, or cupcakes at the grocery store for your next event? It's not going to happen if you are avoiding soy. All items in the bakery department at Walmart contained soy or a soy byproduct. I was excited to see 'School Safe' branded products in the bakery department, which were all peanut-free, but unfortunately all of them contain soy.
5. Breakfast Bars
In a hurry in the morning and need something quick? You won't be able to find a soy-free breakfast bar. A check at a large grocery store (with a variety of brands such as Nutrigrain, Kelloggs, etc.), and at our local health food store left us empty handed.
The variety of chips seems to have ballooned over the past 10 years. Our local grocery store had 82 varieties of chips available. Kudos to Presidents Choice brand tortilla chips and Cape Cod brand Kettle Cooked Chips for being the two that did not contain soy.
The go-to for many families is a store bought bag of cookies. Oreos, Goldfish cookies, Mr. Christie chocolate chip cookies and most other varieties contain soy. Fortunately, Enjoy Life brand makes a variety of cookies and snack bars that are all soy free!
8. Sunday Brunch
IHOP used to be our family Sunday morning ritual when we lived on the west coast. They have a 17 page allergy menu available and we were glad to see that some of the more simple items were soy free (oatmeal, yogurt tube). Pancakes, French toast, egg dishes, all bread products and all the breakfast meats (bacon, ham, sausage) contained soy.
9. Burgers for Lunch
Burger King Canada has an eight page allergy menu with a list of all the items they carry. Of the lunch and breakfast items, there were two items (French fries and chicken fingers) that did not contain soy or share a fryer. Unfortunately, on the first page they noted that the fryer oil contains soy oil.
10. A Steak Dinner
A night out at the Keg (who has an excellent allergy menu) could include bread to start and a French onion soup to share. For your main course you choose a steak, Caesar salad and baked potato. For desert, a slice of cheese cake. And as you are leaving, you grab a mint. Looking over the allergy menu you find that every single one of these menu choices contain soy -- even the mint.
A Flavorful History
Turning Back The Clock On BBQ Sauce
While the exact date and origin of barbecue sauce has been somewhat lost to the sands of time, it’s widely believed that the stuff first emerged in the first colonies in America in the 1600s. An evolution of previously existing sauces and marinades, early barbecue sauces started popping up in recorded history in literature and records in Europe in the centuries that followed, with different types stemming from specific regions and locales. Some of these varieties were influenced or inspired by traditional sauces from England, France, and Germany.
Despite cookbooks having existed for several centuries at this point in time, they almost entirely neglected to include recipes for barbecue sauces. On the heels of the industrial revolution, an increasing number of companies began producing sauces and condiments on a mass scale for the first time. The first commercially-available barbecue sauce was released in early 1909, from the aptly-named Atlanta-based Georgia Barbecue Sauce Company. From there, a growing number of other companies began selling their own respective store-bought barbecue sauces, and by the 1940s several major players began selling bottled barbecue sauces, including culinary giants, Kraft and Heinz.
Are these the 10 best store-bought cookies in the U.S.?
How lucky are we to exist in the same world as cookies?
National Cookie Day is here to remind us just how blessed we are, and in honor of the holiday, we’ve gone ahead and created a totally arbitrary list of some of the best mass-produced cookies in the US.
The only criteria: Cookies must be sold at most grocery stores nationwide (sorry, Girl Scouts) and strictly considered a cookie (frosted animal crackers and Cookie Crisp cereal — you’re out).
You may disagree with the rankings. That’s fair. Whatever your favorite cookie may be, eat it today. Dunk it in milk. Heat it up. Have it for breakfast.
It’s the cookie’s day, after all.
10. Nilla Wafers
These are fine: Bite-sized, brittle, just sweet enough but also chalky. Leave these in an open sleeve in the box for too long and they’ll soften and become inedible. They’re best as a textural surprise at the bottom of a banana pudding.
These crumbly biscuits double as coffee stirrers (and are therefore acceptable to eat in the early morning) that, when ground up into cookie butter, make an excellent spread. They’re more satisfying when enjoyed some 31,000 feet up in the air (they’ve been a Delta Air Lines staple since the 1980s).
8. Famous Amos
The old reliable of vending machines everywhere, Famous Amos cookies have an enviable chocolate-to-dough ratio for their diminutive size. They’re a bit sandy, but they’ve hooked generations of kids who’ve misused their lunch money.
One of the few cookies on this list that comes in a gluten-free variety, Tate’s chocolate chippers are thin and crispy, but you can bite into them without fear of chipping a tooth. They’re salty, and you feel like somewhat of an epicurean when you choose these over, say, the far inferior Chips Ahoy (purposely absent from this list).
6. Pillsbury Ready to Bake sugar cookies
These don’t taste as great as you remember, but they’re the only cookies on this list that tell a story. The peel-off dough balls bloom in the oven to reveal a misshapen Snoopy, a jolly pumpkin and a lopsided Christmas tree. Many of them will burn that’s a given. But doesn’t nostalgia taste even better?
5. Keebler Chips Deluxe Rainbow
Substituting measly chocolate chips for the far more powerful M&Ms is masterful. These little rainbow joys are reminiscent of the candy-dotted cookies you could only find in mall food courts, and far more chocolatey than, hmm, the rock-like Chips Ahoy (again, you won’t find those here).
The cookie itself is a bit chalky like Famous Amos, but those bulging globes of rainbow chocolate elevate these far beyond the competition.
4. Pepperidge Farm Milano
Nothing said maturity to a school-aged kid more than showing up at lunchtime with these vaguely European wafers. Are these cookies meant to be Italian? Kids could care less, when there’s that luxurious fudge that glues the two biscuits together. Whenever these melted in lunchboxes, the results were catastrophic — and tragic, for the waste of an excellent cookie.
3. Keebler Fudge Stripes
Whatever the Keebler Elf is doing in that little treehouse bakery of his is absolutely working, because these are a DELIGHT! The ribbons of fudge that blanket the donut-shaped shortbread reveal a back that is coated in more fudge. Your mouth and hands will also be coated in fudge by the time you’re done snacking.
2. Lofthouse frosted sugar cookies
These cookies are drama. You spot them out of the corner of your eye at a holiday party, and suddenly they’re all you can think about — the frosting laid on so thick it sticks to the roof of your mouth and dyes your tongue. These cookies inspire division among coworkers, who dislike the pillowy soft sugar cookie and the stingingly sweet frosting. But that division means nothing to people like you, who swore fealty to this cookie long ago. These cookies feign modesty, but they know by the end of the party, they’ll be gone.
Is this a surprise to anyone? It shouldn’t be. Oreos are perfect. They’re dunkable, stackable and completely bingeable. Whether you peel off the vanilla cream patty (sacrilegious, in this writer’s opinion) or eat the cookie in its entirety as Nabisco intended, their sublimity cannot be denied.
Every iteration of Oreo reveals its multitudes. Whether you prefer yours in miniature, golden, dunked in fudge, thin, Double Stuf, you’d be hard-pressed to find an Oreo done wrong (unless it’s, like, the Swedish Fish Oreo, which is unacceptable).
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We found most of the brands for our taste-test at Stop & Shop and decided to add the store's own brand into the mix. Although editors liked their snackable size and notably "peppy" taste, the texture of these pickles proved a little too soft for our taste. Still, they were some of the more affordable pickles of the bunch and are definitely workable in a pinch.
Ultimately, Heinz dills fell to the bottom of our list, because of their overly pungent flavor. These acidic, concentrated bites pack a flavor punch suitable for true pickle fanatics only. The soft, soaked texture wasn't ideal either. If you're a person who enjoys drinking pickle juice on the regular, these strong dills might be perfect for you. For us, though, Heinz will always be about the ketchup.