This Is the Grocery Store with the Best Reputation, According to a New Poll

The customers were asked, so the customers answered!

In 2019, when we found out America’s favorite grocery chain, we weren’t surprised: People loved Wegmans. That was clear after reviewing the 2019 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient Rankings. But now it’s 2020 and it seems that nothing in life is quite the same as it was only a few short months ago. Grocery shopping is one reality that has changed entirely in the wake of a global pandemic.

So when it comes to America’s favorite place to stock up on groceries, pandemic-era panic and quarantine-stockpiling habits included, it stands to reason that there would be some change in preferences. In fact, in 2020, America’s old favorite grocery store has fallen slightly out of favor with the new champion, Publix Supermarkets, securing that coveted #1 spot. Wegmans came in a close second, only 0.8 points away from its old title. Publix earned the #4 spot overall with Wegmans coming in at a respectable #6.

To make this ranking, social scientists, strategists, and storytellers at Harris Insights & Analytics look at public opinion, corporate reputation, brand strategy, and additional research. At their core, they want people to know the truth. And when it comes to grocery stores, the truth is pretty clear: Publix Supermarkets is number one. If you don’t have a Publix near you, try shopping at one of the other grocery stores that made the list—just make sure to avoid the grocery store with the worst reputation in America.

How is the survey ranked?

The Reputation Quotient (RQ) rankings are determined in two phases: the nominations phase and the ratings phase. The nominations phase comes from the general public. Survey respondents are asked for their opinions on companies they feel have the best and worst reputations overall. Although we are focusing on grocery stores, the survey is meant for companies of all sorts.

The ratings phase is conducted online, again for the general public. Respondents rate two of the companies that they are “very” or “somewhat” familiar with; for this particular survey, 34,026 people in the United States participated. The companies are then ranked based on “six dimensions of corporate reputation”: social responsibility, products and services, emotional appeal, workplace environment, financial performance, and vision and leadership. Finally, each company receives an RQ score out of 100: 80 and above is “excellent,” 75 to 79 is “very good,” 70 to 74 is “good,” 65 to 69 is “fair,” 55 and 64 is “poor,” 50 to 54 is “very poor,” and below 50 is “critical.”

Publix Supermarket was rated the best grocery store, fourth on the entire list

The 2020 survey found Publix beating out Wegmans by .08 points and the Kroger Company (owners of Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, City Markets, Smith’s, and many other supermarkets by various names) by 1.8 points. In the 2019 survey, Wegmans’ RQ score was at 83, dropping five ranks and 2.6 points overall, which beat out Amazon’s score of 82.3. On the other hand, the Kroger Company came up at whopping 12 rankings from the 2019 results.

When it comes to the other factors on the list, Publix received astonishingly high points for affinity, ethics, and growth (standing behind 2020’s standout #1 of the Clorox Company—go figure). Publix was the top grocery store in all categories part from products/services and citizenship which went to Wegmans, the next top contender and last year’s winner. Now that you’re itching to scope out the true differences, check out these grocery store secrets to get you started.


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Originally Published on Taste of Home

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten is the Social Media Editor at Reader's Digest and writes for Taste of Home and The Family Handyman. She firmly believes that no matter where you go, picnics are always a good idea. Especially if it’s paired with a good book. She’s an advocate for meal prepping and passionate about living a plastic-free life.