Apr 20, 2023 - Economy

The most popular grocery stores in the U.S.

Largest U.S. grocers by market share, 2022
Data: Chain Store Guide; Note: Stores under the same brand name have been combined, e.g. Walmart and Walmart Supercenter; Chart: Axios Visuals

Walmart is the most popular grocery store chain nationwide, with 25.2% of the market share as of last year.

  • Costco and Kroger are the second- and third-most-popular grocers, with 7.1% and 5.6% of the market share, respectively.
  • That's according to new data from Chain Store Guide, which tracks the retail and food service industries.

The big picture: While national grocery behemoths such as Walmart are typically among the most popular grocer — if not the most popular — in any given city, local and regional favorites can give the big box stores a run for their money.

  • Shoppers often develop allegiances toward their local favorites, too — just ask anyone from upstate New York how they feel about Wegmans, for instance, and there's a good chance it'll be like they're talking about their dearest friend.
  • "At a time when politics divides opinion nationally on many big brands, grocery brands have been able to maintain loyalty and trust across demographics by maintaining a steady presence in their communities," Axios' Sara Fischer and Emily Peck write.

By the numbers: The amount Americans spend on groceries is getting crushed by the amount we spend dining out in the post-pandemic era.

  • "People spent 20.7% more at restaurants than they spent on groceries in 2022 — and that figure rose to 29.5% in the first two months of the year, according to Commerce Department data compiled by JLL," Axios' Nathan Bomey writes.

What's next: Amazon — which acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.4 billion — is looking to dramatically expand the grocery wing of its commerce empire, Axios' Richard Collings and Kimberly Chin write.

  • "We need a broader physical store footprint given that most of the grocery shopping still happens in physical venues," Amazon CEO Andy Jassy recently wrote in a letter to shareholders.
Go deeper