January 4, 2023

BrandSpark International Announces 5th Annual Most Trusted Grocery Retailers in US

In partnership with Newsweek and Winsight Grocery Business, BrandSpark International has announced the fifth annual grocery edition of its BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards, as voted by American shoppers. BrandSpark surveyed 10,082 Americans in the BrandSpark American Grocery Trust Study to capture their real opinions of which grocery stores they trust the most. Trust leaders were identified by eight store formats nationally and in four major regions and across 36 key attributes as well as the top 5 grocery retailers nationally.

“Now that the holidays have passed, retailers need to work on building a strong 2023 by prioritizing trust building initiatives with consumers,” said Adam Bellisario, AVP BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards.

“As inflation continues to hit grocery categories heavily, conventional stores with strong private label offerings are going to be popular with consumers because they can meet their needs in terms of price and effective options,” said Philip Scrutton, VP of Shopper Insights, BrandSpark International. We are already seeing retailers like Walmart and Aldi performing very well nationally. Both brands not only have an extremely strong presence but offer consumers attractive private label options offering greater value than national brands, which is very attractive to consumers who will continue to see their grocery budgets being stretched. Despite inflation, the trust drivers are remarkably stable – suggesting that retailers should stick to their strategies. Even with shoppers’ increased focus on prices, quality-driven conventional grocers still rank highly in each region, including Kroger (South and Midwest), Safeway (West), Publix (South) and ShopRite (Northeast).”

Notable findings regarding the most important drivers of grocer trust (attributes)

  • Aldi, H-E-B and Walmart are most trusted for affordability.
  • H-E-B, Walmart and Kroger are strongest for store brand/private label products.
  • H-E-B, ShopRite and Kroger deliver on fresh produce.
  • H-E-B is most trusted for quality fresh food and an enjoyable in-store experience.
  • Kroger, H-E-B and ShopRite deliver the most valuable circulars.
  • Walmart is No. 1 for curbside pickup while Amazon Fresh leads for delivery.

Notable findings regarding trust across 8 key store formats 

  • Aldi is the most trusted discount and small format grocer, and Walmart is the most trusted conventional Grocer nationally but faces some stiff competition regionally where ShopRite is No. 1 in the Northeast and Kroger is No. 1 in the Midwest.
  • CVS is the most trusted pharmacy chain ahead of Walgreens, but we now see that Walmart Pharmacy is in third position posing a threat for the two major national chains.

Other findings

  • Rapidly expanding “Dollar Store” retailers Dollar General, Dollar Tree had the highest shopper reach increase in 2022, with Dollar General topping the list as most trusted Dollar Store Chain.
  • 2022 saw 44 percent of shoppers ordering groceries online, consistent with 45 percent in 2021. Half of these shoppers ordered from Walmart vs. 1 in 6 from Amazon Fresh, but Amazon Fresh achieved the greatest growth.
  • Club stores strengthened trust with existing members who relied on them even more in 2022 for bulk orders at fair prices. BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sam’s Club and Costco Wholesale all increased trust with their own shoppers.
  • Grocer Food Lion built trust with fair prices and loyalty rewards, and it paid off: achieving the highest trust growth, increasing their trust score and jumping from No. 7 to No. 4 for most trusted grocery retailer for value since 2021.
  • Among own shoppers H-E-B has an impressive lead in trust compared with all other grocery stores covered in the study.

Trust plays an integral role in the decision of where to shop, especially during these challenging inflationary times. There is a risk that if customers switch retailers now they may not return even when cost of living pressures ease. “This is an important moment for retailers to build trust with shoppers, and they can do so by communicating why they are trusted and how they plan to help Americans through this,” said Bellisario.

The BrandSpark/Newsweek Partnership aims to make shopping easier for Americans. “We are excited to partner with Newsweek, one of the world’s most recognizable media brands, which will be promoting the full list of winners to ensure that consumers have the most reliable shopping information available to them,” said Robert Levy, President of BrandSpark International. “Winners now have the opportunity of sharing their valuable wins not only with their customers but also with their teams and investors.”

In the BrandSpark American Grocery Trust Study 10,082 American shoppers determined the 2023 BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards winners and results are ranked based on the greatest number of votes. Brand citations of ‘most trusted’ retailer by format are determined by consumers’ unaided write-in votes for their ‘most trusted’ retailer. The brand(s) voted most trusted is/are listed as Rank No. 1. Any brand Ranked 1-3 is considered a “Top 3 Trust Leader,” any brand Ranked 4-5 is considered a “Top 5 Trust Leader,” and any brand Ranked 6-10 is considered a “Top 10 Trust Leader,” having garnered a significant trust share in the category. Brand citations as the ‘most trusted’ overall retailer and ‘most trusted’ by attribute are determined by consumers choosing from a list of the 66 largest grocery retailers nationally.

The 2023 BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards winners are viewable here.

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