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Market Force Information, which describes itself as being in the customer intelligence solutions business, is out with its annual survey of the nation's best supermarkets, and for the third year in a row, Trader Joe's got top marks.

Publix ranked second, and Aldi ranked third in the survey, followed by Hy-Vee and H-E-B.

The study also said, in part:

"Market Force looked at the operational and service attributes that set leading grocery brands apart, and found Publix and Trader Joe’s led in many key areas, including cashier courtesy, speedy checkouts and cleanliness. ALDI, WinCo Foods and Costco led in the value category, while ShopRite was rated highest for sales and promotions. H-E-B, Hy-Vee and Kroger also performed well in most areas."

"As consumers adopt more healthy eating habits, organic and locally sourced products grow in importance. The study found that 48% prefer to buy organic products, when given a choice. Produce is by far the most popular organic item – 90% said they had purchased it in the previous 30 days."

"Prepared entrees and sides are gaining steam among time-crunched shoppers who are finding more quality options to choose from, and embracing ready-to-go and ready-to-cook meals as convenient alternatives to dining out. In fact, 28% said they have purchased prepared meals from a grocer at least weekly in the past month, a 10% increase from 2014’s findings."

"The click-and-collect model, which involves ordering online and picking up curbside, appears to be building a loyal and satisfied following. Only 5% have used click-and-collect, but 75% of those said they were highly satisfied with the experience and more than half are repeat users."
KC's View:
I have such a problem with surveys like this one. Sure, Trader Joe's is a strong competitor ... but the best grocery in the country? I don't think so. I can name a dozen that are better just off the top of my head.

Besides ... the survey also says that prepared meals and fresh produce are major customer motivators, and it seems to me that these are two things that Trader Joe's does not do particularly well.

On the other hand, maybe this survey actually is telling us something else - that for a lot of people, it is the differentiated experience of Trader Joe's that really appeals.