Three county grocers rated among best, two the worst

Sep. 06, 2013 @ 09:04 AM

Union County shoppers can select their family’s food at three of the supermarket chains rated best in North America by shoppers polled in a recent survey. They can also shop at two that were rated the worst.

Of the grocery options in the county, Harris-Teeter, Target and ALDI were among the top 10 rated grocers in North America, according to a survey of 6,600 shoppers recently surveyed by Market Force Information.

Harris Teeter tested even higher in the North American survey than Kroger, the company that recently announced that it would buy the Matthews-based grocery chain.  However, Kroger was top rated in the Southeast when results were broken down regionally.

The survey was conducted in May 2013 across the United States and Canada. The pool of 6,645 respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 60 percent reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 19 to over 65. Approximately 73 percent were women and 27 percent were men, and half have children at home.

ALDI drew high scores from shoppers on its low prices, accurate prices and sustainable/green practices and was rate number four in North America.

None of the top three rated grocers are available in Union County, but all have stores within 25 miles of Monroe in Mecklenburg and York counties.

The top three were Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Publix. Trader Joes and Whole Foods have stores in Charlotte, while Publix has stories in Indian Land and Fort Mill, S.C.

Trader Joe’s was top rated for atmosphere, fast checkout, and highly rated for selection, cleanliness, accurate pricing and courteous staff.

Whole Foods was top rated for high quality meats and produce, organic selections, nutritional information and green practices. It was highly rated for courtesy and atmosphere.

Publix was top rated for cleanliness and courtesy and highly rated for fast check out, atmosphere, quality meats and produce, organic options, nutritional information and green practices.

Walmart Supercenters were top-rated for one-stop shopping but nonetheless finished at the bottom of the survey. That echoed the findings in Consumer Reports survey of 24,000 customers a year ago that ranked the nations’ largest grocer next to worst in the nation:

“The super stores received scathing reviews on service, a poor review on food quality, a mediocre score on cleanliness and had the highest percentage of shoppers – 32 – who experienced three or more problems. However, they did get a “highly satisfied” score on price,” Fiscal Times reported.

Walmart accounted for 22 percent of American food sales in 2010, followed by Kroger, Costco and Safeway.

Food Lion was the other grocer with stores in Union County that finished at the bottom of both surveys. The Salisbury-based chain was mediocre across the board. Customers weren’t satisfied with cleanliness, service, food quality or price.

Bi-Lo and Compare, two other shopping choices in Union County, were not included in the responses to the surveys.