Wegmans is now consumer's most favorite grocery store in the United States, followed by Publix Super Markets and then Trader Joe's, which held the top spot for the past four years.
Market Force Information asked more than 10,000 American consumers to rate their satisfaction level based on recent grocery trips. The survey asked participants to rate the likelihood of referring a particular grocery store to family and friends.
Findings showed that 76 percent of consumers in the United States ranked Wegmans as their most favorite grocery store. Wegmans did not even make the 2015 list, but this year its score nearly doubled.
Seventy-five percent of respondents preferred Publix, which ranked second for four years in a row. This year, former favorite Trader Joe's garnered only 73 percent. Hy-Vee Food Stores and ALDI completed the top five.
Founded in 1916, the New York-based Wegmans is popular among consumers for its reasonable prices, fresh produce and large-scale stores. As the grocery chain expands at a modest rate, it is able to convert more people into devoted consumers.
Wegmans' focus on employee training seemed to be paying off. Customers rated it with high satisfaction and referral rates. Many consumers are eagerly waiting for new branches to open closer to their homes.
However, Trader Joe's recent stumble from the top spot doesn't necessarily spell trouble.
"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. There is hardly any difference in between the three of them," said Market Force's Chief Strategy Officer Cheryl Flink.
The Market Force survey also analyzed which grocery stores rank high in specific categories that set them apart from other supermarkets.
They survey found that Wegmans and Publix ranked high in the majority of the operational and service areas such as cleanliness and ease of finding desired items.
In terms of prices, ALDI ranked the highest with WinCo and Costco on its tails. As for cashier courtesy, Trader Joe's grabbed the top spot, while Kroger, ShopRite and Meijer ranked high in promotions and sales.