This Retailer Just Beat Costco as America’s Favorite Grocery Store

Hint: this grocery store doesn't require a membership.

Woman standing in front of a row of produce in a grocery store. Adam Melnyk/Shutterstock

It feels like there’s a never-ending list of Costco perks. These perks make Costco a great place to get vacation deals, eye exams, and even gym memberships, too. Although the warehouse store is one of the most popular shopping destinations, it’s not necessarily America’s favorite place to buy food. According to an annual survey by the data consulting agency dunnhumby, the top-rated grocery store is Trader Joe’s.

Dunnhumby surveyed 7,000 U.S. households to determine which of the top 56 largest grocery stores both perform well financially and have a strong emotional connection with customers. The ranking specifically evaluates retailer performance on seven pillars: price, quality, digital, operations, convenience, discounts or rewards, and speed. The research shows that stores focusing mainly and equally on price and quality fare better with customers, making Trader Joe’s a logical contender for the top spot. What other grocery store lets employees set aside popular products for customers? Here are 11 other things Trader Joe’s employees want you to know.

Trader Joe’s has held the top spot in this survey for two years in a row. Their lack of digital shopping, cult-favorite private brand foods, and small format minimizes costs keeping prices low for customers and the business. Plus, the store reinvests some of this money into their customer-service and in-store experience, the report says. These are the 7 other reasons why Trader Joe’s is so cheap.

The other top stores are Costco, Amazon, H-E-B, Wegmans Food Market, and Market Basket. Some of these other stores rely on promotions or deals to bring in customers. The results from the survey show that stores relying on these aren’t as successful. This is especially so if they can’t also offer a variety of foods by a strong private brand, according to the survey. Trader Joe’s definitely doesn’t have that problem. The chain doesn’t really have sales and has a no-coupon policy. On rare occasions, the Fearless Flyer does have some deals. People aren’t fazed by the lack of coupons. They already know they’re getting a good deal on their groceries. The Trader Joe’s everything bagel seasoning, Mandarin orange chicken, cauliflower rice, and two buck chuck are just a few reasons keep people coming back for more. Next, check out these 15 other customer-favorite Trader Joe’s foods.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is an associate editor at The Healthy and a former assistant staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her work has appeared online at the Food Network and Well + Good and in print at Westchester Magazine, and more. When she's not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting heavy things at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts, and liking one too many astrology memes.