The World's Largest Supermarket Chains 2018

Some of these names are also among the biggest global retailers

Woman holding baby while shopping in supermarket.
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The largest supermarket chain company in the world is the Kroger Company. That may surprise you if you don't even have a Kroger's in your neighborhood, but you may have noticed one of the other brands that operate under the company's umbrella, like Ralphs, King Soopers, and Dillon's, to name a few.

There may be other names you're unfamiliar with in the 2018 list of the world's largest supermarket chains, compiled by STORES Magazine, the National Retail Federation's publication, based on research by Kantar Consulting.

Nonetheless, these are the biggest supermarket names in the world, based on 2017 sales. For some, like Amazon and Walmart, groceries are merely a division within a giant retailer. Others, like Publix Supermarkets, stick only to groceries.

Other names on the list may be more familiar for the regional brands they have acquired. Albertsons owns Safeway, Acme and Tom Thumb. H-E-B also owns the organic retailer, Central Market. Also, Southeastern Grocers may be better known as Winn Dixie.

Other supermarket chains have a higher profile outside the U.S. Royal Ahold Delhaize got its start in northern Europe, but its U.S. division now owns Stop & Shop, Giant, and Peapod.

Supermarket and Grocery Industry

Grocery and supermarket stores make up the largest retail channel for food in the U.S. According to "IBISWorld.com," an industry market research company, while the number of businesses opening in the industry is static, the revenues are expected to grow to US$655 billion in 2019. The industry employs over two million people.

The research found that as per capita disposable income increases, consumers move to buy premium and organic foods. This shift has contributed to the increase in revenue for the industry.

The grocery and supermarket industry is exposed to risks from rising agricultural prices. These prices can increase due to drought, flood, or other national or global stressors. Companies must either pass increases in prices over to consumers or take a reduction in profits.

Top 10 Supermarket Companies in 2018

The following supermarkets are listed based on the sales in billions of U.S. dollars. Some chains focus on a particular region of the U.S. while others are nationwide.

  1. The Kroger Co., $105.10
  2. Albertsons, $57.39
  3. Royal Ahold Delhaize USA, $43.20
  4. Publix Super Markets, $34.56
  5. Aldi, $25.86
  6. H-E-Butt Grocery, $21.94
  7. Neighborhood Market/Marketside (Walmart), $17.04
  8. Wakefen/ShopRite, $16.30
  9. Whole Foods Market (Amazon), $15.40
  10. Southeastern Grocers, $10.63

Top 10 Retail Companies 2018

Several of the companies in the list of biggest supermarket retailers also show up in the list of the 10 biggest global companies. But only two, Kroger and Albertson, are defined primarily as supermarket chains. The list of the following companies is based on sales in billions of U.S. dollars. You will notice these 2018 figures differ slightly from those on the supermarket top 10 listing. This difference is due to the addition of those companies' non-grocery store sales.

  1. Walmart, $374.80
  2. Kroger Co, $115.89
  3. Amazon, $102.96
  4. Costco, $93.08
  5. Home Depot, $91.91
  6. Walgreens Boots Alliance, $82.75
  7. CVS Health Corp, $79.54
  8. Target, $71.88
  9. Lowe's Companies, $63.13
  10. Albertsons Companies, $59.72