Special Report

The Most Popular Grocery Store Chain in Every State

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> Supermarket: Publix
> Headquarters: Lakeland, FL
> Year founded: 1930

Publix is the largest employee-owned company, not only in the U.S. but in the world. Known for its clean stores, intuitive layout, and exceedingly friendly employees, this beloved chain grocer has 1,294 locations in seven Southeastern states, including 82 in Alabama. Publix generated $44.9 billion in sales in 2020.

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> Supermarket: Fred Meyer
> Headquarters: Portland, OR
> Year founded: 1922

The original “one-stop shop,” Fred Meyer is a hypermarket that provides not only groceries, but hardware, garden supplies, clothing, and home decor. The company became a Kroger subsidiary in 1998 and its locations in Arizona and Utah were rebranded as other markets. Despite this, Fred Meyer still has 141 locations in four Northwestern states, with 13 in Alaska.

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> Supermarket: Safeway
> Headquarters: Pleasanton, CA
> Year founded: 1915

A subsidiary of Albertson’s since 2015, Safeway has 906 stores around the country. The chain operates mostly in the Western U.S. – with over 100 locations each in Washington, California, Colorado and Arizona – but with a pocket of East Coast stores clustered around the Baltimore-Washington metro area.

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> Supermarket: Kroger
> Headquarters: Cincinnati, OH
> Year founded: 1883

Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in the county, generating about $132 billion in revenue in 2020, with $2.59 billion in profit. The Kroger Company owns 22 chains, including the grocers Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralphs, and Smith’s. In addition to grocery stores, Kroger also owns The Little Clinic (in-store clinics) and Fred Meyer Jewelers.

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> Supermarket: Trader Joe’s
> Headquarters: Monrovia, CA
> Year founded: 1967

This quirky, nautical-themed grocery store has a cult-like following and an annual revenue of over $13 billion. There are 530 Trader Joe’s nationwide, 183 of them in California. With bright hand-written signs, deeply discounted wine, and a limited, curated selection of 80% private label goods, Trader Joe’s makes shopping feel more like a treasure hunt than a chore. In 1979, the company was bought by Theo Albrecht, a German entrepreneur and co-founder of the Aldi chain. Chain founder Joe Coulombe stayed on board until he retired in 1988. He died in 2020 at the age of 89.

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