For the second year in a row, Trader Joe's ranks as the favorite grocery store chain in a survey of North Americans by Market Force Information.
The survey of 6,200 individuals was intended to find which chains were shopped most often by consumers, rated highest in customer satisfaction, and the likelihood they would recommend the retailer to another person.
"It's only getting more difficult to attract and keep customers, and being adequate is no longer good enough," said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force, in a statement. "We've found that delighted customers are three times more likely to recommend a grocery store than those who had just an OK experience. This tells us that chains that truly wow their customers on their first visit can establish brand advocates who go on to recommend the grocer to friends and family."
Trader Joe's, according to Market Force, has created a loyal army of customers because of its "quirky branding, unique private label products such as Speculoos Cookie Butter and Green Tea Mints, and a constantly rotating array of merchandise."
The chain ranks highest when it comes to private label brands, natural/organic choices, nutrition/health information and sustainable policies. It also gets high marks for low prices, courteous service, fast checkouts and inviting atmosphere.
Following Trader Joe's in the ranking of favorite chain stores is Publix (number two for the second consecutive year), Aldi (Trader Joe's limited assortment cousin), Costco, Hy-Vee, H-E-B, Kroger, ShopRite, Meijer, Safeway, Sobeys and Walmart.
While it is not among the most favored chains, Walmart is the most frequently shopped store among survey respondents. The chain is ranked highest for shopping frequency in all the regions covered by Market Force except for the Northeast where ShopRite is the leader. Walmart is ranked third for low prices, way behind Aldi and close to Costco.
The survey also asked consumers to rank their favorite chains by produce and meat. Publix is first in produce with H-E-B a close number two; Trader Joe's ranks third. Costco ranks ahead of Publix and H-E-B when it comes to the highest quality meat.
Which attribute is most important to grocery store success?