Boston Consumers' Checkbook released Thursday its rankings for price and quality at Boston-area supermarkets. While Checkbook doesn't reveal the supermarket with the best overall price and quality, the magazine's executive editor, Kevin Brasler, said Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., the Rochester, N.Y.-based chain that opened its first Massachusetts location in Newton in 2014, is the top supermarket overall.
Surveyed consumers ranked Wegmans number one for quality (93 percent of respondents rated it "superior" overall), and Checkbook found Wegmans' prices are about 7 percent lower than Shaw's Supermarket.
"For a supermarket to have ratings that are that high is really extraordinary," Brasler said. "Wegmans is the only one that stands out this much."
Checkbook compared prices at Boston-area stores using a 151-item grocery list (fresh meat, produce, dairy, and nonperishable items) from August 10 to 15, 2015, and analyzed about 60,000 consumer responses from its subscribers and Consumer Reports' subscribers.
Checkbook found Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is the cheapest area supermarket, followed by DeMoulas Market Basket and Hannaford. Whole Foods Market Inc. is by far the most expensive place to shop. Sudbury Farms, Donelan's, and Roche Bros. also are more expensive than Shaw's.
But when it comes to quality, Wal-Mart ranked among the lowest and Whole Foods was rated highly.
Since Trader Joe's doesn't carry many national brands, an exact comparison to the biggest supermarkets couldn't be made. But Checkbook found the overall prices at Trader Joe's are higher than Stop & Shop and Shaw's, but produce was about 11 percent cheaper at Trader Joe's. Conversely meat at Trader Joe's was about 21 percent higher than the Stop & Shop and Shaw's combined average price.
|Name||Amount spent per year|
|DeMoulas Market Basket||$9,464|
|Stop & Shop||$9,984|
|Stop & Shop/Shaw's average||$10,400|
|Whole Foods Market||$15,392|