Taste

Wegmans Is Officially America's Favorite Grocery Store.

Sorry, Trader Joe's.
04/15/2016 01:42pm ET | Updated April 18, 2016

Sorry, Trader Joe's. Despite your fantastical cookie butters and adorably hipster employees, you'll need to hand over your crown.

For the first time in four years, TJ's did not earn the title of favorite supermarket in America, despite its cult following. Wegmans, a chain with stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, snuck its way to the top spot.

Findings from a yearly customer survey of more than 10,000 consumers revealed an even more surprising twist for Trader Joe's: The grocer not only lost its gold trophy, but came in at the number three spot. Publix, a supermarket chain that operates in six states including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and the Carolinas, currently sits comfortably at number two.

The rankings, called a composite loyalty index, result from asking survey participants to rate their satisfaction with a recent grocery shopping experience and how likely they are to refer the store to others. Here's the top 15:

  1. Wegmans
  2. Publix
  3. Trader Joe's
  4. Hy-Vee
  5. Aldi
  6. Costco
  7. H-E-B
  8. Kroger
  9. WinCo
  10. ShopRite
  11. Meijer
  12. Giant Food Stores
  13. Safeway
  14. Stop & Shop
  15. Walmart

Wegmans "is known for its fresh produce, reasonable prices and massive stores," states a press release from survey administer Market Force. "The Rochester, New York-based chain is expanding modestly, but steadily and winning over more devoted customers along the way. Its focus on employee training to ensure customers have the best experience has been a winning strategy that creates superfans eager for a new location to open near their home."

Indeed, shoppers' passion for Wegmans has increased over the years: It's known for quality produce, spaciousness and quality treatment of employees. Wegmans offers school scholarships to its staff, among other benefits, and promotes attainable career growth: 66 percent of its promotions are internal.

The grocer also caters to a range of dietary needs, being one of the largest sellers of gluten-free foods since the '90s,before going gluten-free was so en vogue.

Also notable is Wegman's cheese selection:

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