Consumer Reports: Nation's best, worst supermarkets

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Consumer Reports rated 68 supermarkets across the country on the quality of their fresh food based on a survey of nearly 63,000 of its readers.

Do you love or hate your supermarket? A lot may depend on how fresh it seems, according to a Consumer Reports survey, which shows that some supermarkets deliver much fresher food than others.

Americans average 83 trips a year to the supermarket, spending a total of $5,400 each, with more than half that money going for fresh food found around the perimeter of the store, including produce, meat, bread and ready-to-eat food.

Consumer Reports rated 68 supermarkets across the country on the quality of their fresh food based on a survey of nearly 63,000 of its readers.

"We asked about the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, store-prepared foods and baked goods, as well as things like cleanliness, staff courtesy and prices," Consumer Reports' Tod Marks said.

Only about 60 percent of shoppers say they're highly satisfied with the quality of their store's poultry and meat, and only half are happy with their store's prepared-food and bakery options.

Walmart Supercenter, the biggest grocery store in the country, scored near the bottom of the ratings. People also gave Walmart low marks in all freshness categories.

"Walmart also didn't do so well for its courteous staff and store cleanliness," Marks said. "It did score better than many chains for its prices, but it wasn't the best for price."

Consumer Reports contacted Walmart for a comment and was given a statement from the CEO, which read in part, "Every store I go in has room to improve...And if we nail those, one store at a time, our short-term performance gets better."

Consumer Reports' top-scoring supermarkets include several regional stores, as well as Trader Joe's and Costco, which both got better ratings than Walmart for prices.

Here are the full rankings:
1 Wegmans
2 Publix
3 Trader Joe's
4 Fareway Stores
5 Market Basket (Northeast)
6 Costco
7 Raley's
8 Sprouts Farmers Market
9 Fresh Market
10 Stater Bros.
11 WinCo
12 Hy-Vee
13 H-E-B
14 Aldi
15 Whole Foods Market
16 Fry's
17 Harris-Teeter
18 King Soopers
19 Fred Meyer
20 Food City (KY, TN, VA)
21 Hannaford
22 Meijer
23 Dillons
24 Smith's Food & Drug
25 Lowes Foods (NC)
26 ShopRite
27 Schnucks
28 Food 4 Less
29 County Market
30 QFC
31 Kroger
32 Save Mart
33 Ingles
34 IGA
35 Bashas'
36 Marsh
37 Piggly Wiggly
38 Tom Thumb
39 Giant (PA)
40 Cub Foods
41 Shoppers Food & Pharmacy
42 BJ's Wholesale Club
43 Big Y
44 Ralphs
45 Target/SuperTarget
46 BI-LO (GA, NC, SC, TN)
47 Sam's Club
48 Brookshire's
49 Vons
50 Albertsons
51 Price Chopper (Northeast)
52 Food Lion
53 Weis
54 Giant Eagle
55 Winn-Dixie
56 Giant (DC, DE, MD, VA)
57 Randalls
58 Safeway
59 Jewel-Osco
60 Stop & Shop
61 Acme
62 Pick 'n Save
63 Tops Markets
64 Shaw's
65 Pathmark
66 A&P
67 Walmart Supercenter
68 Waldbaum's

To read the full report, visit ConsumerReprts.org

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