Trader Joe's, thanks in part to its low prices, and perennial favorite Publix rank tops in the Tampa Bay market in Consumer Reports latest annual list of the best supermarkets in the country based on more than 50,000 customer satisfaction ratings. Consumer Reports ranks the Trader Joe's and Publix chains No. 3 and No. 4 nationwide, though Trader Joe's operates just two locations in this metro market. Lakeland-based Publix boasts the largest grocery market share in Tampa Bay and Florida.
In all, 13 of the 62 supermarkets ranked by Consumer Reports operate in some fashion in the bay area. Survey respondents told consumer research organization about their experiences at one or two supermarkets between July 2015 and September 2016. The survey represents more than 93,000 visits to supermarkets, supercenters and warehouse clubs.
Respondents scored supermarkets based on store cleanliness, competitive prices, staff courtesy, checkout speed, produce quality and more. Both Trader Joe's and Aldi stores were spotlighted for their low prices.
Consumer Reports said a score of 100 would mean survey respondents were completely satisfied, 80 would mean very satisfied and 60 fairly well satisfied. The nation's top ranked chain, Wegman's, scored an 89.
Walmart Supercenter, which ranked last among the 62 surveyed, scored a 66.