Food & Wine magazine is celebrating H-E-B, Wegmans Food Markets and Hy-Vee as some of the top food retailers in America when it comes to their pandemic response, inventory management and customer service.
H-E-B, based in San Antonio, Texas, topped the magazine's list and earned kudos for its company-wide emergency plan. “By mid-March, as much of the industry flailed, Texans were joking that H-E-B ought to run for president,” Food & Wine writes.
In June, H-E-B achieved an 80% customer satisfaction mark in the newest Bond Brand Loyalty "Covid-19 Consumer Tracker" study. H-E-B scored higher than other food retailers such as Costco and Walmart, each of them scoring 61%. Publix and The Kroger Co. were behind them, with scores of 59% each. During the ongoing outbreak, convenience and pandemic protection efforts have gone a long way toward boosting customer satisfaction with food retail operations, as the Bond Brand Loyalty study demonstrated. For instance, the new tracking report, which also looked at convenience stores and pharmacy operations, found that the most important feature for shoppers during the pandemic is having products available at store locations nearest consumers. That feature was cited by 87% of consumers, according to the study.
Food & Wine rated Rochester, New York-based Wegmans No. 2 and Iowa favorite Hy-Vee No. 3 on their list:
- New Seasons
- Market Basket
- Winco Foods
- Trader Joe’s
While the magazine didn’t specify the methodology for how it picked America's top supermarkets, Food & Wine said the list is compiled of “10 companies we felt did their damndest” at responding to the pandemic, taking steps to keep products on shelves and staying committed to keeping American consumers fed and happy during an extremely challenging time.
Even though Walmart did not make the list, the magazine did tout Walmart’s grocery delivery service, "backed by a thoroughly dynamic inventory keeper. It was possible, if you could tolerate doing so, to pretty much stay home indefinitely."
The magazine also ranked the top 20 regional supermarket chains, with Cleveland, Ohio-based Heinen's topping that list.