Kroger (KR) fares well in market share but analyst says Trader Joe's best grocer in North America

CINCINNATI -- Kroger might have a big market share in the Midwest, but it doesn't come out on top when it comes to the best grocers in the nation, according to a new best-of list.

Market Force Information , a customer intelligence solutions company, rated the top brands after analyzing data from 6,600 consumers and Trader Joe's came out on top.

The company said Publix Super Markets and Whole Foods Markets rounded out the top three. Officials said those three got high marks for courteous staff, inviting atmosphere and high-quality produce.

Market Force said the study was designed to determine where consumers liked to shop, as well as why one grocer would be chosen over another.

Trader Joe's has almost 400 stores in North America. The Cincinnati Trader Joe's is located in Kenwood on Montgomery Road.

However, when it comes to the grocers that people frequent the most, Kroger came out on top in the Midwest. The company said 11 percent of consumers shopped at Kroger in the past 30 days. Meijer ranked second with 9 percent and HyVee took third with 8 percent.

Kroger ranked first in the South region as well. They were followed by Publix with 15 percent and H-E-B with 5 percent.

In the West region, Kroger came in second with 9 percent. Kroger and Meijer failed to place in the Northeast and Canada.

When it came to the key attributes consumers look for of: convenient location, low prices, good sales & merchandise and one-stop shopping; Kroger fared well in convenience and merchandise. Meijer scored very well in sales & promotions, merchandise and one-stop shopping.

As for overall excellence, Kroger did well in accurate pricing and fast check-out. Meijer did not rank in any of those categories.

Kroger and Meijer did not fare well when it come to rankings in product quality, health and sustainability. In fact, neither company placed in the top five of any of the subcategories according to the consumer ratings.

According to Market Force, convenience was the factor consumers liked most about their preferred grocer. That preference was followed by prices and sales and promotion. The market researcher said no brand dominated across the market when that data was analyzed.

One item of note from the study, is that couponing doesn't seem to be as big of factor for shoppers as one might have thought. Market Force said while some consumers practice extreme couponing, coupon use in general has experienced a steady decline over the past three years.

To read Market Force's original story, please go to: http://www.marketforce.com/press-releases/item/trader-joes-is-consumers-favorite-grocery-chain-according-to-market-force-study-/ .

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