Market Force Information Survey Dethrones Trader Joe's; Wegmans Takes Top Spot
UNITED STATES - Results are in for America’s favorite grocery store. At least according to Customer insights firm Market Force Information. The new set of grocery rankings polled more than 10,000 people. The rankings were based on a composite loyalty index with criteria that included satisfaction with the food quality, checkout speed, value and customer service. The top spot went to Wegmans, with Publix as a close second and Trader Joe’s (the previous top spot holder) at third.
Wegmans took the crown with a loyalty rating of 76 percent, according to an article by CNBC, with Publix scoring a 75 percent rating and Trader Joe's with 73 percent. Coming in at the fourth spot was Hy-Vee Food Stores with a loyalty score of 68 percent.
These recent survey results mark a change for Trader Joe’s, who has held the top spot for four years.
We often report on the competitive grocery industry as retailers strive to address the growing needs and changing behaviors of the consumer. Demographics evolve the palates of families and communities and the new generation of shoppers straddle a demand for more accessible food options and new technologies.
How do you keep up? It would probably be a good idea to ask a couple questions of these top chains. On the other side of the coin and particularly noticeable this year is the stat that one in five consumers reported that they would not recommend their grocer to a friend or even a colleague. On the other hand, only 4.3 percent of customers considered switching grocers, according to Market Force Information.
Cheryl Flink, Chief Strategy Officer of Market Force, told CNBC "When you look at the top brands, I do want to be clear that the top three — Wegmans, Publix, Trader Joe's — they are very, very competitive.”
She went on to tell CNBC, “There is hardly any difference in between the three of them."
I’d be curious to know what the industry thinks.
Flink added, "Trader Joe's has not gone backwards on service," explaining that competitors have improved on this issue.
Flink attributes Wegmans move to the top spot as testament to the retailers success from offering specialty items and brands to its quick cash-out shopping experience.
One of the biggest trends we’ve noted in recent years is a trend towards prepared meals at retail and, Flink notes, that some two-thirds of respondents reported that they purchase prepared foods at least once a month. Also, 19 percent making these purchases once per week.
"The grocers are putting time and effort in this idea of ready-to-eat," Flink said, explaining that consumers are seeking convenience, an alternative for dining out, and food quality.
Coming up the ranks in terms of competition are fresh concepts like Blue Apron, offering ready-to-cook items, Flink adds.
Congratulations to the top runners for this year’s customer insights survey from Market Force Information. Stay tuned as we bring you more on the competitive grocery industry.