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New poll says Publix has the third best reputation among U.S. companies

Publix opened a Starbucks cafe inside the store in the Gandy Shopping Center in Tampa. [JUSTINE GRIFFIN | Times]
Publix opened a Starbucks cafe inside the store in the Gandy Shopping Center in Tampa. [JUSTINE GRIFFIN | Times]
Published Feb. 23, 2017

TAMPA — A well-known Florida company has climbed to having the third best reputation among the most visible companies in the United States.

Publix Super Markets for the third year in a row has risen in the rankings in the annual Harris Poll reputation quotient survey, jumping from No. 9 in 2015 to No. 6 in 2016 and now No. 3.

But here's the catch: Even at such a lofty perch, the Lakeland-based grocer was beat out by another grocer. New York-based Wegmans had the second-highest favorability rating, trailing only the repeat No. 1: Amazon.com.

Publix can rest easy in knowing it's made the list the last three consecutive years, while Wegmans was not ranked in 2016.

It's just the latest round in the ongoing battle between the two brands.

Wegmans was ranked by Fortune Magazine as the fourth best company to work for last year. Publix clocked in at No. 67. Wegmans also unseated Publix as the country's best grocery chain, according to Market Force Information's 2016 report.

The Harris Poll surveyed more than 30,000 Americans and gauged their feelings about a company's social responsibility, emotional appeal and other attributes. They interviewed about 300 people for each of the top 100 "most visible companies."

At the very bottom of the list was Takata Corp., the Japanese company which manufactured faulty airbag inflators that have been blamed for the deaths of at least 17 people around the world and caused the largest automotive safety recall in history.

Honda and Acura step up efforts to warn 30,000 Florida drivers that their Takata airbags could kill them

Contact Alli Knothe at aknothe@tampabay.com. Follow @KnotheA.

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