By Laura McCamy/Bankrate
February 24, 2019

You might not know about the quirky appeal of Fred Meyers (affectionally called Freddy’s by those who love this one-stop grocery and more store) if you’ve never shopped in Oregon or Alaska.

And don’t confuse Fred Meyers with Meijer (pronounced like Meyer), because that’s totally a Michigan thing.

Every state has its favorite grocery store. Some states gravitate to big chains like Safeway and Walmart, while many of the most popular grocery stores across the country are local and regional chains with deep roots in the community.

The diverse list is a bit deceptive, however. Many of the regional chains are subsidiaries of national grocers like Albertsons and Kroger, which owns dozens of other grocery chains.

The list below was compiled by Foursquare. It excludes big box retailers like Target and Walmart that also sell groceries.

Foursquare ranked the stores using data on the number of visits to each grocery store, which was normalized against US census data to find the most popular store in each state.

Alabama: Publix

Publix, which has 71 stores in Alabama, is employee-owned.

Alaska: Fred Meyer

There are only 11 Fred Meyer stores in Alaska, but one of the stores in Fairbanks (population 31,535) had the highest sales of the more than 1,300 stores in the entire Kroger chain (Kroger owns Fred Meyer).

Arizona: Fry’s Food Stores

Fry’s, which started out as a family grocery and has since been bought by Kroger, has 119 stores in Arizona.

Arkansas: Kroger

Kroger is the largest grocery chain in the US and the most popular in Arkansas, with 34 stores.

California: Safeway

Founded in 1915, Safeway has stores in 19 states, including California, where it has 218 stores.

Colorado: King Soopers

Another Kroger subsidiary, King Soopers wins the prize for cutest grocery store name. It also wins the day in Colorado, where it has 152 stores.

Connecticut: Stop & Shop

Stop & Shop is now owned by Dutch supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize, which owns several US grocery chains. The chain plans to renovate and revitalize some of its 123 Connecticut stores, which should help retain its status as the state’s most popular grocery.

Delaware: ACME

ACME (now owned by Albertsons) has been around for 125 years. It’s 15 Delaware stores have a loyal following.

District of Columbia: Safeway

The District of Columbia loves its 16 Safeway grocery stores.

Florida: Publix

The Publix chain was founded in Florida in 1930 and it remains the state’s most visited grocery store, with 801 locations.

Georgia: Kroger

Grocery giant Kroger dominates the supermarket scene in Georgia, with 209 stores.

Hawaii: Safeway

Hawaii’s 23 Safeway locations offer specials just for residents, which may be one reason the locals love this grocery store.

Idaho: Albertsons

Albertsons is a native Idaho grocery. Founded by a former Safeway employee in Boise, the chain now has 36 stores in Idaho, plus locations in 34 other states.

Illinois: Jewel-Osco

Jewel-Osco started out as the Jewel Tea Company at the turn of the 20th century. Albertsons now owns the chain, which has 182 stores in Illinois.

Indiana: Kroger

Kroger is the top super market in Indiana with 116 stores.

Iowa: Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee, which got its start in Iowa in 1930, has 147 stores in its home state.

Kansas: Dillons

Dillons has 55 of its 60 total store locations in Kansas.

Kentucky: Kroger

Kroger rules the grocery scene in Kentucky, with 120 locations.

Louisiana: Rouses Markets

Rouses, calls itself “one of the largest independent grocers” in the U.S.. Most of its 46 our of 56total store locations are located in Louisiana.

Maine: Hannaford Supermarkets

Hannaford Supermarkets’ 67 stores are Maine’s biggest private employer.

Maryland: GIANT (Landover)

Not to be confused with Pennsylvania’s GIANT (Carlisle), this Maryland favorite has 43 stores in the state and is owned by Ahold Delhaize.

Massachusetts: Stop & Shop

Stop & Shop was founded in 1914 in Massachusetts. The company currently operates 163 stores in the state.

Michigan: Meijer

Kroger has a larger market share in Michigan, but Michiganders make more visits to their friendly Meijer, which has 58 locations.

Minnesota: Cub Foods

The name of this Minnesota chain, with 99 stores in the state, stands for Consumers United for Buying. The chain is credited with being the first discount grocer.

Mississippi: Kroger

Kroger has 28 stores in Mississippi. More than half of these are located outside the biggest counties, according to, so the store has broad coverage across the state.

Missouri: Schnuck Markets

Founded in 1939, Schnuck Markets’ 73 stores in Missouri are still owned by the Schnuck family. Many of the stores in this chain are located in and around St. Louis.

Montana: Albertsons

Albertsons has 29 locations in Montana and is the most visited grocery chain in Montana.

Nebraska: Hy-Vee

Fun fact: the name of this supermarket, which has 25 stores in Nebraska, comes from the last names of its founders: Hyde and Vredenburg.

Nevada: Smith’s Food and Drug Centers

There are 38 Smith’s grocery stores in Nevada. The chain, which was founded in 1911, is now owned by Kroger.

New Hampshire: Hannaford Supermarkets

The Hannaford chain has 41 stores in New Hampshire. The chain started in 1883 as a vegetable cart in Portland, ME.

New Jersey: ShopRite

Shoprite, with 68 New Jersey locations, has been the largest grocery in the state for two decades. A rumor that the chain would close all its New Jersey stores in 2017 was a Facebook hoax – Shoprite is alive and well in the Garden State.

New Mexico: Smith’s Food and Drug Centers

Smith’s is the grocery of choice for several states in the Southwest, including New Mexico. The chain has 25 stores in the state.

New York: Wegmans Food Markets

Wegmans isn’t just New York’s favorite grocery store: the Washington Post reported that Consumer Reports rated it the best in the US.

If you want to know why Wegmans customers are so deliriously loyal, you’ll have to visit one of its 98 locations – 46 of which are in its home state of New York.

North Carolina: Food Lion Grocery Store

If you don’t live in North Carolina, you may recognize Food Lion as the grocery chain that sued reporters who went undercover in 1992 to expose food safety lapses at stores in the Carolinas.

If you are a local, though, that’s old history. The 523 Food Lions in North Carolina are the most popular in the state.

North Dakota: Hornbacher’s

This North Dakota favorite grew from one store in Moorhead, Minnesota (sister city to Fargo, North Dakota) in 1951. The 6 stores in the chain are the most highly visited in this sparsely populated state.

Ohio: Kroger

Kroger has stores in 35 states today, but it all started with a shop in the heart of Cincinnati. The chain has 183 stores in Ohio and remains a fan favorite in its home state.

Oklahoma: Walmart Neighborhood Market

Walmart Supercenters weren’t included in this survey, because they sell so many other products it’s hard to parse the reasons for visits to those stores. But Walmart has been competing hard in the grocery department, and the chain’s 33 Neighborhood Market stores are Oklahoma’s favorite place to shop for food.

Oregon: Fred Meyer

One of the first Fred Meyer stores opened by its eponymous founder was in downtown Portland and the grocery chain is still legendary there. Fred Meyer has 53stores in Oregon, and the quirky chain is a fan favorite.

Pennsylvania: GIANT (Carlisle)

Founded in Carlisle, PA, in 1923, this regional chain has 28 stores in Pennsylvania. That number will soon rise as GIANT, now owned by Ahold Delhaize, plans to add several new stores in the state.

Rhode Island: Stop & Shop

The chain’s 26 store locations in Rhode Island are the most visited supermarkets in the state.

South Carolina: Publix

South Carolina has 59 Publix locations, and the chain wins the popularity contest among the state’s shoppers.

South Dakota: Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee’s 11 locations are much loved by South Dakotans. The chain made the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies for 2018.

Tennessee: Kroger

The Tennessee Cheesecake available at Kroger stores in the state probably isn’t the reason this grocery ranked number one. But it is great reason for a visit to one of the supermarket’s 124 Tennessee locations.

Texas: H-E-B Grocery

The name of this grocery chain comes from the initials of Howard E. Butt, but the first store was opened by his mother Florence in 1905.

This popular Texas chain, with 340 stores across the state, has the distinction of having a store mascot, H-E-Buddy (a walking bag of groceries).

Utah: Smith’s Food and Drug Store

The Smith’s chain was founded in Brigham City, Utah, in 1911. It retains the crown as Utah’s favorite grocery store, with 60 stores in the state.

Vermont: Hannaford Supermarkets

The Hannaford chain, with 20 stores in Vermont, has been hailed by the Vermont Foodbank for its sponsorship of a campaign to fight hunger.

Virginia: Food Lion Grocery Store

Now owned by Ahold Delhaize, Food Lion’s 283 Virginia stores roar to first place in popularity with shoppers.

Washington: Safeway

In Washington State, the 187 Safeway stores have joined a state program to help SNAP recipients eat healthier by filling “prescriptions” for fresh fruits and vegetables.

West Virginia: Kroger

In an initiative to reduce waste, Kroger will soon eliminate single-use plastic bags from all its stores. Shoppers at the chain’s 41 West Virginia stores will bag their groceries in reusable bags by 2025.

Wisconsin: Pick ‘n Save

Wisconsin’s preferred supermarket is a warehouse grocery store. When the first of the chain’s more than 100 stores opened in 1975, it needed police to direct traffic because it was so popular, according to the Pick ‘n Save website.

Wyoming: Albertsons

With just nine stores in the state, Albertsons is still Wyoming’s favorite grocery store.

This article originally appeared on

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