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Study: America’s favorite grocer is…


U.S. consumers have named their top grocery chain, and for the first time in four years it isn’t Trader Joe’s.

Findings from an online study of more than 10,000 consumers conducted in February 2016 by Market Force Information revealed that Wegmans is America’s favorite grocery retailer. Wegmans was followed by Publix Super Markets and Trader Joe’s.

For the rankings, Market Force asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their most recent grocery shopping experience and their likelihood to refer that grocer to others. The results were averaged to rank each brand on a Composite Loyalty Index.

After not earning enough votes to make the list in 2015, Wegmans garnered double the votes in 2016, earning the top spot a score of 76%. Publix ranked second for the fourth year in a row with an earned a score of 75%, followed by Trader Joe’s, which slipped five percentage points from 2015 for a score of 73%. Hy-Vee and ALDI rounded out the top five.

As more shoppers are crunched for time, prepared foods continue to be a popular choice, with two-thirds indicating they purchased some form of prepared food from their grocer in the previous 30 days. Forty-three percent did so once a month, 19% once a week, and 8% twice a week or more. Convenience was overwhelming the most popular reason for purchasing prepared foods, but many also turn to pre-made foods as an alternative to dining out or because of the quality of food offered.

When it comes to online grocery ordering, traction with consumers is slow. Fifteen percent of consumers reported that they had tried online ordering for home delivery, and only 5% had done so in the past 90 days. One in five were dissatisfied with the experience.

Click and collect also showed consumer reluctance to adopt. Only 4% of respondents tried click and collect, and 2% had tried it within the past 90 days. One in four were dissatisfied with their experience.

The study also found that approximately half of consumers used a grocery app in the previous 90 days. The most prevalently used apps are those offered by specific grocers, while a nominal amount of consumers opt for third-party apps. Consumers are primarily using apps to obtain coupons, followed by scanning barcodes, comparing prices and availability, and creating grocery lists.

Printed circulars still continue to be used, but that number is declining, with 57% of consumers using them at least once in 2015 and 47% in 2016. About half of consumers review coupons once a week, and 14% are reviewing them three to four times a week. Nearly two-thirds shop at a specific grocer because of the promotions offered in a weekly circular.

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