Tired of seeking out coupons, waiting for sales and then rolling through the endless aisles of some megastore to do your grocery shopping? Apparently many of your fellow shoppers are, too.

BrandSpark International is out with its annual “Most Trusted Awards,” and the small-format ALDI is among the big winners.

“In the current landscape of heightened inflation in the grocery sector, discount grocery giant ALDI stands out,” BrandSpark said in announcing the results. “ALDI builds trust by offering innovative new products and brands to attract and loyalize consumers.”

That’s helped ALDI earn top marks as the grocery store must trusted to offer low prices in the Northeast and Midwest. It finishes second to Walmart in the South. ALDI doesn’t have enough of a presence out West to rank there – but the retailer is looking to expand, so just wait.

ALDI’s rankings are notable in that it doesn’t accept manufacturer’s coupons, doesn’t have hundreds of sale items, buy-one-get-one-free deals and other promotions – it’s just a place where inflation-weary shoppers are increasingly headed to save money without having to jump through hoops. ALDI’s performance “underscores the potential of a strong private label strategy and commitment to providing cost-effective solutions to the challenges consumers face,” BrandSpark found.


But ALDI isn’t the only winner. Grocery chains across the country were judged according to a number of different attributes. And Walmart won nine out of 13 categories, which this year included affordable baby products, affordable gluten-free products and wine. And it swept the “pickup and delivery” category, winning in all four regions of the country.

The specific categories keep changing year to year, so it’s difficult to compare the most recent rankings to previous BrandSpark winners. Walmart was this year’s “low prices/affordability” winner in the Southern and Western regions, and finished second to ALDI in the Northeast and Midwest. Last year, winners were ranked nationally instead of regionally, and Walmart won that, too. But Walmart didn’t fare as well in more specific categories related to affordability – last year’s winner in “Valuable Circulars/Flyers” was Kroger, while “Valuable Coupons” and “Great Promotions” went to H-E-B. Walmart only managed a fourth-place finish in “Great Promotions” and didn’t place in the top five in the other categories.

Walmart also slipped down the overall “most trusted conventional grocery store” list. Kroger won the Midwest again, and ShopRite once again was named most trusted in the Northeast. Down South, Kroger and Publix tied for first, beating last year’s winner, Walmart. And Safeway, which tied with Walmart for best in the West, had the top spot all to itself this year.

Safeway’s position is notable in that it didn’t win, or even place in, any of the more specific categories. Other national retailers like Target and Safeway’s owner Albertsons didn’t show up as any category winners or runners-up either.

Of course, when taking a nationwide survey, the results are somewhat skewed in favor of nationwide chains. BrandSpark’s methodology attempts to mitigate that by breaking down results by regions. But part of the reason stores like Walmart and ALDI did so well, could be because there are so many Walmart and ALDI stores across much of the country.

So you may have a hidden secret, a smaller lesser-known store not on BrandSpark’s list, that you can count on to help you save money on your regular grocery run. If not, there’s a massive superstore chain you might like – or a small-format store with very big ambitions to become everyone’s most trusted place to get groceries.

Image source: ALDI

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