Nothing will make you drop your cart and run out of a grocery store quite like sticky floors, dingy aisles, and crumbs. Cleanliness is so important that it’s consistently one of the top-rated features (along with bright lights, product selection, and value) that makes us return to a store again and again. So which grocery stores can claim to be the cleanest of them all?
Nonprofit consumer group, Consumer Reports’ recently released the findings of a nationwide member survey of grocery stores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs. More than 75,000 people across 96 stores responded.
Criteria included cleanliness of sidewalks and entryways, the number of working hand sanitizer stations and cart wipes available, how quickly spills were wiped up, how often floors were cleaned in general, and the cleanliness of restrooms.
Cleanest Grocery Stores
The top-ranking grocers include Texas-based regional chain Central Market; the mid-Atlantic’s Wegmans; the Chicago and Ohio area chain, Heinen’s; Souther California-based Gelson’s Markets; and the Northeast’s Market Basket. Trader Joe’s was the highest rated national chain.
Other “clean” grocery stores — just not top-ranking — include New Seasons Market, Publix, Military Commissary, The Fresh Market, Festival Foods, Dierbergs, Lunds & Bylerlys, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Natural Grocers, Reasor’s, Raley’s, Lowes Foods, Hy-Vee, Haggen Northwest Fresh, Lidl, Roche Bros., Brookshire.
If you’ve noticed your go-to store isn’t on the list, no need to worry. Consumer Reports asked only survey members to complete the survey on either their top one or two more frequented stores, so there may not have been enough data on your favorite spot.
Lowest-ranking grocery stores
Not all grocery chains received glowing reviews. Survey respondents dished the dirty details on Walmart Supercenter, Tops, and Key Food.