The average shopper visits the grocery store 83 times a year, spending about $5,400 annually. Now more than ever, those shoppers are demanding more fresh foods from their grocers, including healthy, unprocessed produce and meats along with organic options, local produce and freshly prepared meals they may take home.
In response to this growing demand, Consumer Reports asked its readers to rate their grocers on freshness. The 62,917 readers who responded scored their grocers on produce quality, meats and poultry quality, bakery quality and store-prepared food quality.
Of the 68 supermarkets evaluated, one grocer rose above the rest. Wegmans received high scores in every category. It was one of only three chains – including The Fresh Market and Whole Foods – that earned outstanding produce scores.
Scoring low in the produce category were Sam’s Club, BJ’s Membership Club and Target.
Wegmans topped the list again in the prepared foods category, and following close behind were Publix, Costco, Whole Foods and Fresh Market. Waldbaum’s, Pathmark and Aldi received low marks.
Wal-Mart, for the tenth year in a row, remained one of the lowest-rated grocers in every other category but price, according to Consumer Reports. It was also the primary shopping destination for 10% of those surveyed.
The final scores of the survey showed that only 60% of shoppers were completely or very satisfied with their store’s produce, meat and poultry, while just 50% said they were highly satisfied with their store’s prepared foods and bakery offerings.
“Nationwide, stores need to do a much better job when it comes to fresh offerings,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports.
Top 5 Freshest Supermarkets:
- Sprouts Farmers Market
- The Fresh Market
The 5 Least-Fresh Supermarkets:
- A & P