Kroger competitors include Publix, Costco, Target, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and others. The American retail chain of grocery stores is the second largest after Walmart. In 2020 alone, Kroger generated a revenue of $132.5 billion, and sales grew by 14.2%. If these numbers are any indication, Kroger is one of the best grocery stores to shop.
However, Kroger’s service quality and top-notch services are continuously threatened by its competitors. From Aldi’s meager prices and Amazon’s seamless eCommerce platform, we take a look at the strongest Kroger competitors. Keep reading this post if you’d like to expand your shopping options with them.
10 Kroger Competitors: The fiercest grocery stores & supermarkets
1. Amazon.com & Amazon Fresh
Amazon is the toughest of Kroger competitors. The online store is first on the list of best grocery stores and compiled by the Dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index Finds, a leading organization in customer data science.
Though having a net income of $33.36 billion in 2021, the store cannot hold a candle to Kroger. Yet Amazon is a force to watch out for in the retail industry.
Like Kroger, Amazon sells different categories of products. You can buy grocery items, cleaning and household supplies, beauty and skincare products, and electronic equipment from there. But in terms of variety, Amazon emerges as a clear winner.
Amazon’s website also offers real-time personalized services and recommendations for customers whenever they shop. This is one feature Kroger’s website lacks. Amazon’s website houses products from its store and third-party sellers. Added to that is its brick-and-mortar branches like Amazon Fresh, where you can buy your groceries from there. Whole Foods Market has also joined the Amazon family since it was acquired in 2017.
Amazon Fresh stores have introduced automation into the scene. For example, you can walk into the store, pick any item you want and just walk out. It sounds crazy, but it isn’t magic.
Amazon leverages Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Amazon Fresh stores for inventory management and integration with customer accounts with their stores. From the moment you walk in, cameras can monitor your movements. They can automatically add and remove items from your virtual shopping cart when you pick them up and replace them on the shelves.
While this is hard to compete with, Kroger has also launched a similar store concept to beat Amazon at its own game. Kroger now has automated fulfillment warehouses that can collate customer orders from the website and prepare their orders for shipping with the help of robots.
Walmart is the largest retailer in the USA. As of 2021, the store had annual revenue of $559.151 billion.
In terms of pricing, Walmart is cheaper to shop at than Kroger. However, Kroger wears the crown in variety as it sells more name brands than Walmart. For example, Walmart would usually have four brands of mustard, whereas Kroger would have around seven brands of mustard.
Like Amazon, Target is slowly revolutionizing the eCommerce market. Its eCommerce website generated an explosive $16.63 billion, and sales grew by 145% in 2020. In addition, leveraging same-day deliveries with third-party logistics (3PLs) services like Shipt, the store grew sales by another 300%. These statistics are enough proof that Target is not only a profitable store but a strong Kroger competitor.
In third place among the fiercest Kroger competitors is Meijer, having a revenue of $19.5 billion as of 2021. Though Kroger is more accessible than Meijer, having nearly 2,800 stores in the USA, Meijer’s affordable prices are what make it a top competitor. It’s the place to go if you want cheaper product prices.
Both stores are often mistaken to be owned by the same parent company. They even have similar website designs. But on the contrary, Kroger and Meijer are not owned by the same parent company. Kroger is owned by Fred Meyer, while Meijer is under Meijer Companies.
Publix is the third-largest retailer and the world’s largest employee-owned store. Publix also has an annual revenue of 44.9 billion as of 2020 and a large portion of market shares in the USA, especially in Florida, with 37% shares. Walmart has the second-largest market share in Florida at 27%.
Kroger also beats Publix in terms of pricing and variety. However, the store has more product recalls than Publix, proving that its quality is no match for the competition.
Costco warehouses are ideal for grocery shoppers who love to buy products in bulk. Bulk buying means lower prices for wholesalers. But there’s a catch; you have to purchase a membership plan first. This is one advantage Kroger has over Costco.
You can just walk in and grab any product you want at Kroger. At Costco, you’re restricted to window shopping. If you need to buy anything, you’d have to get a plan. Otherwise, you can shop online, but that means the store will charge you 5% of your order as a service fee.
While Kroger has more stores in the USA, Costco has warehouses worldwide in Japan and Australia.
7. Whole Foods Market
While the store had a decline in sales of 1.5% before the acquisition, Whole Foods has transitioned from regional to national. The store now offers more product varieties and retains its spot as one of the best stores offering organic and natural selections.
The store also has better insights now with Amazon in the picture. Having access to real-time customer data, the store offers better in-store and online experiences for shoppers.
8. Sprouts Farmers Market
Sprouts is the next best thing after Whole Foods Market. Compared to Kroger, it doesn’t have a diverse range of services. But on the bright side, it offers specific payment methods that Kroger doesn’t, such as Venmo and Apple Pay.
Sprouts also has better customer support, which Kroger needs to improve on. Recent reviews from users online reveal that customers are generally dissatisfied with the support system at Kroger.
Aldi is renowned for one thing; its unbeatable prices. Its low-profit margin allows customers to buy products at almost giveaway prices. So it’s ideal for budget shoppers who’d like to cut back on grocery expenses. For example, at Aldi, you can get a gallon of milk for $1.85, while it sells for $2.99 at Kroger.
It’s easy to assume that the low prices offered at Aldi equate to poor-quality goods. But surprisingly, Aldi offers excellent quality products. But we wouldn’t recommend getting certain food items from there like Prime ribs or chicken.
Safeway is the fifth largest retailer in the USA. One of its most notable services is the Safeway for U program. All members are entitled to a Safeway Club card, which allows them to earn points. Accumulating points makes you eligible for rewards and special offers. Such as price slashes on in-store purchases and expenses like gas and groceries.
Kroger’s program is limited to fuel purchases. So you can’t use your points to buy groceries at lower prices. The best you can do is accumulate Fuel points when you make in-store purchases at regular prices. For every $1 you spend, Kroger will award you with 1 point.
Amazon’s automated and personalized services continue to loom over grocery stores and supermarkets. As it’s one of the pioneers of eCommerce and seamless shopping experiences, Kroger and its competitors have their work cut out for them. But we wouldn’t write Kroger off just yet.
In 2018, Kroger made a move that proved that Amazon isn’t as superior as we’ve come to think. The store launched its fulfillment warehouses overrun by robots. They are capable of collating and packing customer orders the way human employees would.
As the world rapidly shifts into a technology-driven age, perhaps Kroger could emerge among the top victors of the retail industry rivalry in the coming years.
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Irene is a Freelance content writer who helps professionals and startups build an audience with original content online. She has written over +100 articles, and is backed up by 3 years experience. She loves gaming and listening to music, while she’s not tapping furiously on her laptop.