Apr 24, 2023 - Food and Drink

The most popular grocery stores in the San Francisco Bay Area

Data: Chain Store Guide; Note: Stores under the same brand name have been combined — e.g., Walmart and Walmart Supercenter; Chart: Axios Visuals

Safeway is the most popular grocery chain in the San Francisco Bay Area, with 25.1% of the market share as of last year.

  • Costco and Food Maxx are the second- and third-most-popular grocers, with 18.4% and 8.8% of the local 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 grocers — 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.
  • "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.

Between the lines: Bi-Rite, along with other smaller stores like Haight Street Market and Gus's, are mixed into the "other" stores, accounting for 17.6% of the Bay Area's market share. 

  • Bi-Rite plans to open its third San Francisco store this year in Russian Hill.

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.

  • Of note: In the Bay Area, Whole Foods has just 7.2% of the market share.
  • "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.
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