Wegmans, Publix, Hy-Vee and Costco were named by consumers as the top grocery brands in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West respectively in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend study.
According to Harris, this was the first time in the study's 26-year history that it surveyed consumers about grocers on a regional level. Included in the list of choices were supermarkets, warehouse clubs, mass retailers and deep discount grocers such as Aldi. The research measures brand equity based on three traits: familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.
In the Northeast, Wegmans led a top-10 list that included Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, ShopRite, Hannaford Bros., BJ's Wholesale Club, Stop & Shop, Costco, Price Chopper and Giant Food.
Down south, employee-owned Publix came out ahead of Walmart, H-E-B, Trader Joe's, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Kroger, Sam's Club and Target.
Also employee-owned, Hy-Vee ranked first in the nation's heartland followed by Meijer, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Walmart and Jewel/Jewel-Osco.
"Hy-Vee has strong purchase consideration scores and very 'connected consumers,' meaning they have strong feelings for the brand and believe it's a good fit for them," said Michael Treboni, EVP of retail professional services at Nielsen, in a statement.
Trader Joe's was the only chain to show up in the list of top grocers in every region of the country, while Whole Foods came up three times. Costco and Walmart showed up in two regions.
Which of the chains in the Harris research do you think is the best grocer?