From coast to coast, where do we grocery shop the most? As it turns out, the most popular supermarkets in the U.S. represent an eclectic range of establishments ranging from sleek, modern organic retailers to no-frills discount markets.
Curious about some of the most beloved grocery retailers in the U.S.? Here, we’ll discuss some of the most popular supermarkets across the U.S., including what keeps customers coming back.
This German-owned discount supermarket chain has taken the world by storm in recent years, but it’s far from a new company. It has a long and fascinating history. It was founded in 1946 by two German brothers but then broke into two divisions in the 1960s following a falling-out. Between the two divisions, it expanded into Denmark, France, Spain, China, the United States, and beyond.
In the United States, Aldi has over 1,900 stores in 36 states that are well-trafficked. With low prices, organic produce, and a “Twice as Nice” guarantee that promises your money back and a replacement item if you’re not satisfied with a purchase, it’s not hard to see why this is such a popular and growing U.S. supermarket.
This popular chain just so happens to be one of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, with over $121 billion in reported sales in 2018. It’s also one of the largest private employers in the country.
In recent years, Kroger has become a go-to alternative to Whole Foods for organic produce, working hard to offer affordable and accessible products. Of course, even if the name Kroger doesn’t seem familiar to you, chances are you are still familiar with the brand in some way. Chains that operate under the Kroger umbrella include (but are not limited to) Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs, and Smith’s.
This Florida-based grocery chain was founded in 1930 and is unique in that it is privately owned by members of the original founding family and past and present employees.
Publix primarily operates in the Southeastern portion of the United States, with stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
With manufacturing facilities creating in-house bakery, dairy, and deli items, cooking schools, and its own distribution centers, Publix is a well-oiled machine and was even ranked as one of "Fortune" magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2019. Customers love the high quality, clean stores, friendly customer service, and excellent prepared foods.
Long live Two Buck Chuck! Trader Joe’s constantly makes “best of” lists when it comes to U.S. grocery stores owing to its affordable wine, produce, and addictive snack items. Some items are so popular that they’ve been rationed at times! Oh, and the friendly employees and those charming cowbells don’t hurt.
Founded in 1967 in Pasadena, Trader Joe’s was acquired in the late 1970s by Theo Albrecht, who also happens to be part of the family that owns one of the Aldi grocery store divisions. Today, the chain has close to 500 stores in the USA, with plans to expand even farther in the coming years.
Whole Foods is seen as a pioneer of the organic foods movement in the United States. Originally founded in 1978 under the name “SaferWay” in Austin, Texas, the chain was soon rebranded and opened as Whole Foods in 1980. Additional locations of the chain began to open, first in the region and then throughout the U.S. Today, they operate about 500 stores between North America and the United Kingdom.
While Whole Foods had a long-time reputation for being very expensive and even had the nickname “Whole Paycheck,” that began to change in 2017 when Whole Foods was acquired by Amazon for an impressive $13.7 billion. Since the takeover, there have been many changes, including lower prices and additional perks for Amazon Prime customers.
Ready for a grocery run?
Everyone goes grocery shopping, so why not enjoy it? These stores set themselves apart by offering customers great products, services, and features that make shopping much less of a chore. Do you shop at any of these popular supermarkets?
Cover image credit: benedek / iStock