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Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition

by 
Shira Petrack
 on 
March 27, 2023
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition

Our latest white paper – 10 Regional Powerhouses to Watch: Top Brands Dominating Local Markets – examines companies across five different retail and retail service categories that are highly successful in their region. Some have expanded – or are planning to expand – into new markets, while others are choosing to focus solely on their current region. But although the different businesses have different approaches to expansion, all these companies have established a strong foothold in their respective markets and are well-positioned for future growth. Below is a taste of our findings, and you can read the full report here

Top Regional Grocery Chains

Many retail categories are dominated by large national players, but the U.S. grocery market is relatively fragmented. Regional chains like H-E-B and Food Lion often find success by focusing on the needs of their local customers and by expanding organically. 

H-E-B: Cult-like Following Leads to Steady Growth

H-E-B is by far the most popular grocery chain in Texas – in 2022, the chain captured 47.7% of all grocery visits within the state, while Kroger – one of the largest grocery chains in the country – captured 16.5% of the visit share. Against this backdrop, it's no surprise that H-E-B also experienced positive foot traffic growth throughout 2022 compared to 2019. In Q4 2022, the grocer saw 7.0% more visits than three years before, partially thanks to the company’s aggressive expansion. In contrast, foot traffic to other grocery stores in Texas increased by just 2.7%.

 Food Lion: Roaring Into The East Coast 

Food Lion has a strong foothold in the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states and was the most popular grocery chain in North Carolina in 2022. The company’s share of regional grocery visits has also increased when compared to 2019. In 2019, 36.9% of grocery visits in North Carolina were to a Food Lion, and by 2022, that share had increased to 41.3% – a trend that repeated itself across all the states analyzed. This growth shows that over time, the chain is becoming more popular in the areas where it already has a stronghold – which can explain the brand’s ambitious expansion plans.

Grocery chains with an established regional presence have demonstrated their ability to adapt to local conditions and navigate the intricacies of regional market dynamics effectively, providing solid footing for national expansion. Investors and stakeholders looking for the next top national brand may want to cast their attention towards companies that have established robust regional roots.

To find out our other top regional brands, read the full white paper here

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