Walmart is the most-trusted conventional grocer and Aldi is the most-trusted discount and small-format grocer, according to the 2023 Most Trusted Grocery Retailers in America list released Wednesday.
The fifth-annual ranking from market research firm BrandSpark International, conducted in partnership with Winsight Grocery Business and Newsweek, surveyed more than 10,000 U.S. shoppers about their most-trusted food retailers in a variety of categories.
“As inflation continues to hit grocery categories heavily, conventional stores with strong private-label offerings are going to be popular with consumers because they can meet their needs in terms of price and effective options,” Philip Scrutton, VP of shopper insights for BrandSpark, said in a statement. “We are already seeing retailers like Walmart and Aldi performing well nationally. Both brands not only have an extremely strong presence but offers consumers attractive private-label options offering greater value than national brands, which is very attractive to consumers who will continue to see their grocery budgets stretched.”
With inflationary pressures looming, Dollar General and Dollar Tree saw the greatest shopper reach increases in 2022, the study found, with Dollar General leading the pack as most-trusted dollar store chain.
Among the other leaders: Whole Foods Market is the most-trusted natural and organic grocer, Walmart offers the most-trusted online grocery service, 7-Eleven is the most-trusted c-store chain, and CVS was rated the most-trusted chain pharmacy.
Shoppers also weighed in on their regional favorites. Here are the most-trusted grocers in regions around the country:
West, conventional: Safeway/Walmart (tie)
South, conventional: Walmart
Midwest, conventional: Kroger
Northeast, conventional: ShopRite
West, discount: Grocery Outlet
South, discount: Aldi/Walmart (tie
Midwest, discount: Aldi
Northeast, discount: Aldi
Aldi, Texas-based H-E-B and Walmart were most-trusted for affordability, while H-E-B, Walmart and Kroger ranked highest for private-label products.
Shoppers said they especially trust the fresh produce at H-E-B, ShopRite and Kroger, and H-E-B topped the list for quality fresh food and an enjoyable in-store experience, BrandSpark said.
Walmart took the top spot for curbside pickup, and consumers said Amazon Fresh offered the most trustworthy grocery delivery.
In 2022, 44% of shoppers ordered groceries online, about the same as the 45% who did so the year before, BrandSpark noted. Half of those shoppers ordered from Walmart, while only one in six shopped online with Amazon Fresh. But Amazon saw the greatest growth, the firm said.
It was a transformative year for Ahold Delhaize banner Food Lion, which earned the highest trust growth and climbed from No. 7 to No. 4 for most-trusted grocery retailer for value since 2021, the survey found.
Among its own shoppers, H-E-B bested all other grocers surveyed.
“Trust plays an integral role in the decision of where to shop, especially during these challenging inflationary times,” BrandSpark said in a statement. “There is a risk that if customers switch retailers now, they may not return even when cost-of-living pressures ease.”