The Most Underrated Grocery Store In The Country

America has a 63,328-strong, stable and diverse supermarket sector that spoils the country for choice, per Ibis World, this figure is a combination of the popular and sort after, and the less known and underrated.

Retail empires, like Walmart, are the most populous. When measured by its market cap, it is the largest in the United States, per Companies Market Cap. There are chains that rank for other reasons, like Whole Foods, the healthiest grocery chain in the country with its fresh, organic, preservative, grass-feed produce (per CNN). Change that criteria to the fastest growing grocery chain in the United States, and you will get Aldi, according to Biz Journals, already number three from the top (two places down from Walmart) with its portfolio of 2,200 stores.

While these brands may be at the top of their leagues, they are not necessarily the best and often find themselves on some ominous lists. Take Walmart (our favorite example) the 800-pound gorilla of all things retail (or maybe just "all things") also finds itself in third place on "The least trusted stores in the United States" list, per Bestlife.

The less known more loved grocery store

Bigger is better in terms of variety and consistency but small does better when it comes to interactions, per Grocery Dive. The Fresh Market was inspired by the cozy intimacy of European grocery stores, per The Fresh Market. Accustomed to the warehouse-like stores in America, founding owners Ray and Beverly Berry, found inspiration in the intimate atmosphere of European grocers. What they saw in Europe stayed with them, and on March 5, 1982, they put what had become a dream into action.

Today, The Fresh Market owns 159 branches in 22 states. It boasts a "personalized experience," per USA Today. It goes the extra mile for its supporters, offering loyalty programs, discounts, digital coupons, members-only savings, and a free slice of birthday cake to celebrate the respective day, according to The Fresh Market's loyalty page.

Although the brand has a relatively small portfolio, it has achieved a couple of number-one spots of its own. The Fresh Market took the top position on USA Today's 10Best for "Best Supermarket" for two years in a row (2021 and 2022), and given the market, it operates in, it is no small accomplishment.