Perhaps to incite the Trader Joe's loyalists and diehard Whole Foods fans, Daily Meal recently posed this question to its readers: "What is America's best grocery store?" The results revealed that California-based Trader Joe's took the prize.
"The diversity of gourmet, organic and vegetarian options as well as excellent prices and quality keep [Trader Joe's] on top of the list," writes Emily Jacobs.
Huh. We could have sworn it was the cookie butter.
Whole Foodies needn't worry; the Austin-based chain came in at a respectable No. 2. Applauded for its high standards and specialization in organic and natural foods, Daily Meal also notes Whole Foods' commitment to quality.
The retailer took the silver-medal status in stride, tweeting out its thanks.
For its survey, Daily Meal separated the national chains from the regionals and only included grocery stores with locations in more than one state. H-E-B (which landed at No. 19) was the lone exception to this rule, because, according to Jacobs, "it's awesome" and Texas "could be considered a 'region' by itself." If that's true, where was Central Market?
Other retailers on the list include Costco (No. 3), Super Target (No. 9), Costco, Kroger (No. 11), Aldi (No. 15) and Sprouts (No. 17).