While much of the press coverage of Consumer Reports' supermarket ratings has focused on the usual suspects getting the highest scores (Wegmans, Trader Joe's, Publix, Costco), it was not the only information in the report worthy of discussion. One troubling point is that one-third of subscribers to the magazine said they had stopped shopping at their main grocery store over the past year.
High prices were the biggest, but not only, reason that consumers made the decision to switch. Other factors included long waits at the checkout, inadequate selection of products, out-of-stocks on advertised items and poor food quality.
Price, according to Consumer Reports, is becoming a much bigger factor in where consumers choose to shop. Fifty-eight percent of those who switched grocery stores did so because of price. That compares to 43 percent who gave the same answer in 2011.
As to those chains that topped the list of favorite grocery stores, price was a significant selling point. Six of the top 10 rated chains on the Consumer Reports list got the highest grade for price satisfaction. These included Trader Joe's, Costco, Market Basket, Fareway Stores, Stater Bros., WinCo and Aldi.
Wegmans received the highest overall rating with top marks for service, cleanliness and perishables. It was ranked slightly lower on price satisfaction.
Trader Joe's received the highest rating for so-called national chains. "Trader Joe's gets exemplary marks for service and very good marks for perishables. Their prices were considered extraordinary and they're a very clean store," Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports, told Today.
The magazine's ratings are based on 27,208 responses to a survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey reflects more than 48,000 visits to supermarkets, supercenters, warehouse clubs, and limited-assortment grocery stores.
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|Source: Consumer Reports|
How much quicker or slower are American consumers to switch their primary grocery store today compared to a decade ago?