Apr 12, 2021 - News

Hy-Vee reigns supreme for grocery shopping in Des Moines

Data: Chain Store Guide Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Hy-Vee is the top grocer for central Iowans — handily defeating behemoths like Walmart, according to Chain Store Guide, a sales-tracking firm that examined 2020 grocery revenue.

The state of play: Even though Hy-Vee's prices may be slightly higher, it's the top choice for local consumers because of its quality, convenience and still-competitive pricing, said Brittain Ladd, a supply-chain consultant.

  • "Hy-Vee has never said they're going to be the lowest price, but they certainly can say to the consumer, 'We are conveniently located and no one can beat our quality,'" Ladd said.
  • Plus, the company's huge role in distributing COVID-19 vaccines in Iowa will draw in new customers or reacquaint people who haven't stopped in for a while.

Between the lines: Fareway squeaked out ahead of Target and even though we all like to joke about how long we can shop in a Target, "it's not a great experience shopping for groceries," Ladd said.

Worth noting: Even though Hy-Vee has consistently topped our area's list, its market share has dropped 3% since 2018 as competitors expand.

  • Expect the challenge of the future to come from Amazon Fresh, Ladd said.
  • Though no expansion plans have been announced for Iowa yet, the high-tech, cashier-free stores have eaten up grocery dollars in other markets.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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