The people have spoken, and the nation’s favorite grocery store has emerged for another year. In an annual study by Market Force, more than 12,800 people rated their satisfaction with their most recent shopping trip and whether they wanted to refer their favorite store to friends. New York-based Wegmans won our hearts for specialty service, cleanliness, and availability, HuffPost reports.
According to the study, Wegmans took home the top spot with a composite loyalty index score of 77%. Publix came in second, with 76%, and Trader Joe’s in third, with 75%. Publix and Wegmans tied for cleanliness and item availability, while Trader Joe’s had the fastest checkout and a great score for its friendly cashiers. Wegmans also ranked highest for its specialty department, and Publix took the lead in customers’ ability to find items in its stores.
If you have a shopping trip (or a pilgrimage) planned soon, here’s what we recommend you add to your cart. Grab a snack and buckle in — we’re hungry already.
Wegmans’ popular “Food You Feel Good About” store brand comes in hot with a lot of solid options. For a quick and tasty meal, you really can’t beat the store’s frozen pizza. With a range of flavors and styles, you can satisfy your craving for thin-crust, bake-and-rise, or even wood-fired options.
We especially love the Wood-Fired Pizza Siciliana, with Mozzarella, ricotta cream, grilled eggplant and zucchini, peppers, red onion, and spicy chili oil. And at about $4.99, it comes in cheaper than comparable Newman’s Own ($5.99) or Amy’s organic ($6.49).
Store-brand seltzer water
Everyone seems to love seltzer water lately, and Wegmans has really stepped up to the plate. Its Food You Feel Good About seltzer comes in the convenient 12-pack cans we all know and love. They also feature trendy flavors like coconut lime, cherry pomegranate, and watermelon.
Compared to popular LaCroix brand, it comes in cheaper, too. A Wegmans 12-pack will run you about $2.50, while LaCroix weighs in at $4.99. And if cans don’t fit your lifestyle, they also come in 1-liter bottles. Variety packs let you sample a few flavors, so you can live your best seltzer life, too.
Peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets
If you love peanut butter, you will go nuts for these peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets. Just don’t crack that jar in the car, or it won’t make it home. And for the real hedonists out there, they also come chocolate-covered.
Trader Joe’s sells a similar product, at $2.99 per pound. At Wegmans, you get 24 ounces for $5.99. But packaging makes a difference. The Trader Joe’s version comes in a crushable bag, while Wegmans serves its little pretzel gems in a hard plastic jug. Does that make it worth the extra bucks? We’ll let you decide.
Half loaves of bread
Those of us who live alone understand how hard we struggle to finish an entire loaf of bread before it goes stale or moldy. Sure, you can freeze it and pull out slices as you go, but that messes with the texture.
Wegmans gets you. They sell half loaves of their popular bread, including the whole-grain, “27 grains and seeds” version. We’ve never actually counted the seeds, but this hearty bread makes one heckuva sandwich.
Premade pasta salads (or really, any salads)
The salad and hot foods bar at Wegmans rivals Whole Foods for freshness, variety, and of course, taste. It also comes in quite a bit cheaper, for a quick lunch or dinner on the go. But if you want to take your taste sensation home with you, the grocery store also offers premade salads, sides, and even full meals for heating up at home.
We also love this penne and mozzarella pasta salad for summer snacking, in particular. Add a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes for extra oomph, or just leave it as-is. Grab a rotisserie chicken from the deli, and you’ve got yourself a seriously solid picnic.
Garlic and herb basting oil
This cult classic basting oil really has it all. Made with real garlic and herbs, it packs a punch as a marinade for meat, a quick drizzle over a salad, or for roasting herbaceous vegetables. It goes great with pretty much everything and saves you thinking about seasoning. We grab a new bottle pretty much every time we head to the grocery store, and you should, too.
Cheese. Any cheese.
Dairy fans, get thee to a Wegman’s cheese shop. Their dedicated cheese area boasts some of the best grocery store selection we’ve ever seen, and a staff member can even direct you to the best variety for your tastes. They offer premade cheese and charcuterie boards if you want to go easy, but you can make your own deli-style, too.
Hit up the olive bar for a selection of brined beauties, to complement your haul. From the bakery, a bag of baguette slices also makes the perfect cheese carrier.
Dill dip for chips and dip
Who doesn’t love a good chips and dip? Western New Yorkers know the superiority of Bison Chip Dip, but Wegmans actually serves up a good substitute. For those who live outside the Bison borders but want a taste of home, pick up a tub. The sour cream and dill flavor tastes great with chips, but would also work with torn pumpernickel bread or fresh veggies. It goes best with ruffle potato chips, but we won’t judge if you prefer crinkles.
Wegmans organic pasta
Because everyone’s favorite grocery store does nothing halfway, it makes its artisanal pastas in Puglia, Italy. Longer drying times at low temperatures give it a better flavor and a firmer bite than your standard dried fare. They also come in fun shapes and sizes, to take dinner up a level.
Short on time? Wegmans’ EZ Meals appear all over the store, from ready-to-go to fresh cut veggies. Options include pasta bowls, sushi, Asian favorites, and of course, salads. They also come in both single and family sizes, so you can just pop one in the Microwave and feed the whole family. If you prefer to DIY but hate prep work, EZ Meals also come in components, like pre-cut produce.
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