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Nov 7, 2008 09:05 PM

Healthiest Supermarket Chains in the US

Surprise, Safeway is No 2, Trader Joe's No. 4 in a survey by Health Magazine.

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  1. That survey is pretty much meaningless. There can't be more than 10 national (or semi-national) supermarket chains.

    Sort of like ranking the best 25 English alphabet letters (when, yes, there are only 26 letters total).

    8 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Don't follow your logic. There can't be more than 10 football teams in the Big 10, yet people seem to think the standings, 1st place to 10th place, are meaningful.

      1. re: Xiao Yang

        There actually 11 teams in the Big 10.

        1. re: KTinNYC

          Must really sting to be in 11th place in the Big Ten.

          Make that Pac 10, then. Go Bears!

      2. re: ipsedixit

        Actually, there are a LOT more than 10 national supermarket chains.

        While I've not been to many of these supermarkets, I've certainly heard of national chains such as Vons, Aldi's, Albertsons, Dillons, Fred Meyer, Piggly Wiggly, Fresh Market, Ukrops, etc. that aren't in my area.

        And I agree with jlawrence - their focus seems to be on organic food items.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          >>Actually, there are a LOT more than 10 national supermarket chains.

          Wikipedia says that there are 11 national chains (although the Big 3 chains - Kroger, Safeway, and SuperValu each have 5-10 brands.)

          There are 50 regional chains - Ukrops being one of the better regional chains.

          What is scary is that I have been to most of them ... but then, I always check out groceries when I am traveling.

          1. re: jlawrence01

            And I was counting the "Brands" as additional national chains.

            And like you, I love to check out supermarkets when I travel (which isn't often). I was bummed I couldn't check out the Fresh Market on Tropicana Blvd. in Vegas when I was out there a few weeks ago.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              If you want a wild experience, try out the International Market which I believe is at the corner of Tropicana and Decatur Ave. My first trip there lasted a solid three hours. They have an enormous selection of products imported from around the world.

              1. re: jlawrence01

                See - now that's just mean. I needed to know this BEFORE I went to LV for my brother's wedding! :-D

      3. You can find healthy foods (and very unhealthy foods) in every supermarket in the US. Furthermore, the various chains vary in quality from market to market.
        The Safeway stores in Chicagoland (Dominicks) is probably the worst chain in the market.

        Having read the article, they seem to be more interested in the number of organic products than in first quality food.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jlawrence01

          I agree with you that "organic" is something of a red herring, in these days of organic Cheese Nips. Articles like this help to clear the air, because many of the same foodies who always tout "organic" choices are the ones that like to diss Safeway as too large and "corporate."

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            When I am in any grocery, I prefer fresh, reasonably priced and where practical, locally sourced.

            Here in Chicago, I get upset when I head into a Supervalu (Jewel)/Safeway (Dominicks) /Costco/Trader Joes, etc. and see no local cheeses (like Wisconsin has many master cheese makers) or when all the apples are sourced from Washington when there are hundreds of Great Lake orchards. My local independent market (and Walmart) can find these local guys.

            Safeway has a bad reputation in the grocery business as they do NOT listen to their customers. They purchase local chains like Randall's or Dominick's and gut the stores of all local content. And in this market, customers are walking away. For a while, things were so bad, that 50% of the meat and 30% of the dairy were markdowns. Safeway paid $1-1.2 billion for Dominicks and they are trying to sell it for $300M (Crains Chicago Business).