The Most Popular Grocery Store In New York May Surprise You

When it comes to groceries, do you prefer shopping online or are you still a fan of the old-school, in-person experience? If you're anything like many Americans, the COVID-19 pandemic may have spurred you to rethink your habits, perhaps leading you to sign up for an Instacart or Gorillas grocery delivery account. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce surged during the stay-at-home era of the pandemic, shooting up 43% from 2019 to 2020 as more and more folks decided not to brave the aisles. And even though shoppers had been returning to brick-and-mortar as social restrictions have eased, a new driver has been pushing online grocery sales, according to Brick Meets Click, a grocery retail strategy firm: inflation.

But for some people, nothing beats IRL grocery shopping and the opportunities it affords to sniff-test cantaloupes, poke and prod avocados, and easily compare prices between brands without having to toggle back and forth on a smartphone. If you fall into that camp, then you might be loyal to a particular grocery store — but in New York State, the chain shoppers love above all others may come as a surprise.

New Yorkers love to grocery shop at this big-box store

Have you ever heard of Wegmans? If you live in New York, you almost certainly have: According to The New Yorker, the Rochester-based grocery chain has attained something of a cult status among Empire State citizens since its 1916 founding, praised for its high-quality items and vast selection of fine cheeses. So ... Is Wegmans New York's favorite grocery store?

Not by a long shot. According to data compiled by Tasting Table, big-box chain Walmart is actually New Yorkers' favorite grocery store. Compared to popular chains Aldi, Price Chopper, Stop & Shop, and beloved Wegmans, foot traffic at Walmart stores in the state is way, way, way higher: We're talking over 1,650,000 total visits per month since the start of data collection in 2019, with some months seeing as many visits as 2,249,738 (August 2021) and 2,300,806 (April 2022).

In comparison, the second-most popular grocery store chain among New Yorkers, Stop & Shop, sees a mere fraction of Walmart's foot traffic. Through the same time period, the chain's busiest month (January 2020) recorded only 525,163 visits; Walmart saw 2,672,746. And that wasn't even Walmart's most popular month — in December 2019, the chain saw 2,696,336 visits. We wouldn't have figured, but it seems like on this one New York is aligned with the rest of the country in its unabiding love of Walmart, which is consistently the highest-grossing grocery chain in the U.S. (via