The Fresh Market, Hy-Vee and Lidl led the field in a “10 best supermarkets” reader survey by USA Today.
Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market said Friday that it was recognized as the “Best Supermarket in America” for 2021 in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. For the list, a panel of 10Best local experts and contributors nominated U.S. supermarkets based on value, selection and service, and then readers cast their votes for their favorite supermarkets over a 28-day period via the 10Best website.
“The original Fresh Market was inspired by the food markets of Europe, a place where shoppers could have a more intimate and personalized experience than the warehouse-style supermarkets of the time,” USA Today said in the 10Best ranking. “The Fresh Market now operates 159 locations in 22 states with a focus on fresh produce and private-label ingredients.”
Rounding out USA Today’s 10Best supermarkets after No. 2 Hy-Vee and No. 3 Lidl were Market Basket, Aldi, Stew Leonard’s, Publix Super Markets, Sprouts Farmers Market, Wegmans Food Markets and Trader Joe’s.
“Out of the hundreds of supermarkets in America, we are thrilled to be voted number one,” Jason Potter, president and CEO of The Fresh Market, said in a statement. “Over the last year, we have immersed ourselves in achieving our goal of becoming one of America’s Most Loved Brands. And this award proves that customers are recognizing our improvements, and we greatly appreciate their business and support.”
He added, “This achievement is a true testament to our team members who offer impeccable guest service every day. We’re looking forward to continuing our mission of offering the highest-quality fresh food and creating the best experience for our guests in 2021 and beyond.”
Employee-owned Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee was cited for providing “friendly service at each location.” The West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer operates more than 275 stores across Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin and is known for its variety, convenience, healthy lifestyle focus, culinary expertise and customer service, part of its mission to be the “Best Place to Work and Shop in America.”
“We are honored to be recognized as one of the top grocers in the nation,” stated Hy-Vee Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker. “We thank our customers for their loyalty and our dedicated employees for providing exceptional service.”
Meanwhile, Germany-based Lidl — which operates over 130 U.S. stores on the East Coast — was recognized for its strong own-brand offerings and product assortment.
“Around 80% of the products on the shelves at Europe-based Lidl are private label, which means shoppers are always finding new favorites from around the world,” said USA Today in the 10Best review of Lidl. “You’ll find more than 3,500 products at any given time, including in-store baked goods, fresh flowers and a sizable wine selection.”
Arlington, Va.-based Lidl US noted that its 10Best listing comes after being ranked a top grocer by Food & Wine Magazine and as the fastest-growing retailer on the National Retail Federation’s Hot 100 Retailers list for the second straight year.
“The feeling of success when you score an unbelievable deal is the experience we want for you every time you come into a Lidl store,” Lidl US President and CEO Johannes Fieber stated. “Having the best and most enthusiastic shoppers in grocery is the ultimate reward for us. An enormous thank you to all the Lidl fans and Lidl nerds who helped propel us to one of USA Today’s Top Three Supermarkets.”
Of No. 4 Market Basket, USA Today’s panel said Northeastern shoppers “love the grocer for its consistently excellent prices,” while No. 5 Aldi U.S. has “earned customer love and loyal fans by offering high-quality groceries at great prices.”
10Best contributor Eric Grossman called No. 6 Stew Leonard’s “a relic of a bygone era, when grocery shopping doubled as family entertainment.” No. 7 Publix, the nation’s largest employee-owned company, was cited for its bakery, dairy and fresh food offerings, and No. 8 Sprouts got a nod for making “natural foods more readily available and affordable.”
Grossman noted how consumers see No. 9 Wegmans as a community asset. “Each time a Wegmans opens — and there have been a lot of openings in the Northeast in recent years — it has been like the Beatles coming to town,” he wrote in the USA Today 10Best supermarket ranking. Similarly, No. 10 Trader Joe’s has “earned an army of devotees” for its “meticulously curated selection of unique and interesting items at affordable prices” and its “cult favorites,” USA Today said.
The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards is promoted across USA Today Travel Media Group's digital and media products, as well as via social media.
*Editor's Note: Article updated with comment from Hy-Vee.