Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Mid-Atlantic Grocery Deep Dive

by 
Lila Margalit
 on 
August 24, 2023
Mid-Atlantic Grocery Deep Dive

With inflation subsiding and grocery prices finally beginning to stabilize, we continued our regional grocery round robin – diving into the data for the Mid-Atlantic states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Which supermarkets are most popular in the Mid-Atlantic region? And what distinguishes leading chains from one another?

Ahold Delhaize With a Solid Win

In Delaware and Virginia, Food Lion stood out as the most-visited chain, commanding 20.7% and 27.7% of statewide visit share, respectively. Owned by Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize USA, Food Lion boasts about 1100 locations across 10 states. And with its emphasis on affordability, the chain has emerged as an attractive destination for consumers seeking to stretch their dollars. 

In Maryland and Washington, D.C., the grocery scene was led by Giant Food, another Ahold Delhaize USA brand that has more than 150 stores in D.C., Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia (Not to be confused with Pennsylvania-based Giant Food Stores, also owned by Ahold Delhaize). West Virginia, for its part, was dominated by Kroger, which received 47.3% of statewide visits in July 2023. 

A Regional Breakdown

Delving further into the data reveals that Food Lion was among the top three most-visited chains for all analyzed states – absent only from the Washington, D.C rankings, where the chain doesn’t have a presence. Kroger and Harris Teeter (another Kroger brand) took second and third place, respectively, in Virginia – with Giant Food coming up just behind Harris Teeter with 8.4% visit share. And Albertsons-owned Safeway and ACME markets attracted the second-largest visit share in Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Overall, Food Lion cornered the regional market with 19.3% of visits, followed by Giant Food with 14.8%, and Kroger with 10.3%. New York-based Wegmans, which has 25 stores in Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and Delaware, ranked 7th region-wide with 4.3% of visits, despite not making the top three for any individual state.

Food Lion and Giant Food: Recipes for Success

A look at 2023 visit trends for the regional grocery champions – Food Lion and Giant – shows that the two banners experienced greater year-over-year (YoY) visit growth than the wider grocery segment during most months of the year. Food Lion, which delivered its 42nd consecutive quarter of positive sales growth in Q1 2023, continues to perform particularly well. 

So what is the secret to Food Lion and Giant Food’s regional success? How have they both continued to thrive in what is a very competitive market? And what distinguishes Food Lion and Giant Food – both owned by the same company – from one another? 

Geographic and Demographic Differences

Trade area analysis shows that while both chains are traditional grocery stores, they occupy somewhat different niches, both geographically and demographically.

Geographically, Food Lion tends to be more spread out, while Giant Food is highly concentrated in particular metro areas. In Virginia, Food Lion dominates the southern part of the state, with concentrations in hubs like Richmond and Virginia Beach – while Giant Food has the bulk of its locations in more affluent D.C. suburbs like Falls Church and Alexandria. In Maryland, too, Giant Food is concentrated in the relatively well-off D.C. suburbs, as well as in the Baltimore area, while Food Lion is more widely dispersed. 

Partially as a result of these geographic differences, Giant Food tends to attract more affluent shoppers than Food Lion. In both Virginia and Maryland, Giant Food’s captured markets had higher median household incomes (HHIs) than statewide medians, while Food Lion had relatively lower. And in both states, Giant Food shoppers were more likely than Food Lion customers to visit places like Starbucks and Trader Joe’s, while Food Lion shoppers were more likely than Giant Food visitors to visit value leader Walmart.

*A chain or venue’s captured market refers to the population residing in its trade area, weighted to reflect the actual share of visits from each Census Block Group comprising the trade area. Analyzing a chain’s captured market provides insight into its customer base – the people that visit the chain.  

Looking Ahead

As we’ve seen throughout our regional grocery tour, there’s plenty of room for several different grocery brands in any given local market – particularly those that manage to carve out distinct niches that set them apart from the pack. And in the Mid-Atlantic region, Food Lion and Giant have both found success by targeting different geographical regions and appealing to different audiences. How will regional dynamics be impacted by cooling inflation in the months ahead? Will less budget-oriented chains pick up steam as prices level off? 

Follow Placer.ai’s data-driven insights to find out. 

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Grocery
Text Link
Food Lion
Text Link
Giant Food
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish
White Paper Recap: October 2023
Coffee Giants Brewing Up Business
Popeyes and Burger King Lead the Way
Diving into Yum!
Looking Ahead to Black Friday 2023
Blockbusters Drive Movie Theater Comeback
Crocs and Boot Barn: Shoe-Ins for Success
McDonald’s and Chipotle's Winning Recipe
The State Of Steak: Checking in With Texas Roadhouse
Pleasant Pastimes: Pickleball Potential Proves Potent
Who’s Driving Downtown Manhattan’s Weekend Revival?
Diving into Downtown Manhattan Foot Traffic Trends
Rite Aid: Rightsizing Right
Major League Soccer: Its Die-Hard and Casual Fans
The Anchor Recap: September 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: September 2023 Recap
Placer Mall Index Recap: September 2023
September White Paper Recap
The Consumer Habits of College Students
JCPenney: Rightsizing and Revitalizing
Pent-Up Demand Ahead of October Sales Events
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: August 2023 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Index: August 2023 Recap