The Largest Supermarket Chains in 2019

The top 10 grocery retailers in 2019, plus industry trends for 2020

Woman holding baby while shopping in supermarket.
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The largest supermarket chain company in the world is the Kroger Company. Even neighborhoods and towns that don't have a Kroger often have one of the brand's other supermarkets, such as Ralphs, King Soopers, Harris Teeter, Food 4 Less, and Dillon's.

Many of the top supermarket companies reach those positions through a similar model of owning many different grocery brands. Albertsons, the second-largest supermarket company, owns 20 brands including Safeway, Acme, and Tom Thumb. Even regional grocery chains often own multiple store brands. Texas grocery chain H-E-B also owns organic retailer Central Market and Latino grocery chain Mi Tienda.

Other supermarket chains have a higher profile outside the United States. Royal Ahold Delhaize, the third-largest supermarket company in 2019, started in the Netherlands. Its U.S. division now owns Stop & Shop, Giant, Food Lion, and Peapod.

Top 10 Supermarket Companies in 2019

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.

Top Supermarket Retailers 2019 (sales in USD billions)
  2019 Sales 2018 Sales
1. The Kroger Co. $119.70 The Kroger Co. $105.10
2. Albertsons Companies $59.71 Albertsons Companies $57.39
3. Royal Ahold Delhaize USA $43.80 Royal Ahold Delhaize USA $43.20
4. Publix Supermarkets $36.52 Publix Super Markets $34.56
5. Aldi $28.78 Aldi $25.86
6. H. E. Butt Grocery $24.02 H-E-B Grocery $21.94
7. Wakefern/ShopRite $16.57 Wakefern/ShopRite $16.30
8. Hy-Vee $10.15 Southeastern Grocers $10.63
9. Southeastern Grocers (BI-LO) $9.48 Hy-Vee $9.64
10. Giant Eagle $9.13 Giant Eagle $9.04

The rankings for 2019 supermarket companies are similar to those from 2018, with only small shifts in rank among the top 10. This list does not include Neighborhood Market/Marketside supermarkets, which are part of Walmart, or Whole Foods Market, which is part of Amazon.

Top 10 Retail Companies 2018

Only two of the companies in the list of biggest supermarket retailers, Kroger and Albertsons, also show up in the list of the 10 biggest global companies. However, the top two companies, Walmart and Amazon.com, also own their own grocery brands.

Top 10 Retail Companies in 2019 (sales in USD billions)
  2019 Sales 2018 Sales
  Walmart (includes Neighborhood Market/Marketside supermarkets) $387.66 Walmart (includes Neighborhood Market/Marketside supermarkets) $374.80
2. Amazon.com (includes Whole Foods Market) $120.93 The Kroger Co. $115.89
3. The Kroger Co. $119.70 Amazon (includes Whole Foods Market) $102.96
4. Costco $101.43 Costco $93.08
5. Walgreens Boots Alliance $98.39 The Home Depot $91.91
6. The Home Depot $97.27 Walgreens Boots Alliance $82.75
7. CVS Health Corporation $83.79 CVS Health Corporation $79.54
8. Target $74.48 Target $71.88
9. Lowe's Companies $64.09 Lowe's Companies $63.13
10. Albertsons Companies $59.71 Albertsons Companies $59.72

The companies within the top 10 have remained the same from 2018 to 2019, though there have been some notable shifts. The top eight companies all increased their sales, while the final two had their sales decrease from 2018 to 2019.

2020 Trends in the Supermarket and Grocery Industry

Grocery and supermarket stores make up the largest retail channel for food in the United States. While the number of businesses opening in the industry is expected to remain static in 2020, revenues will likely grow to US$678 billion. The supermarket industry employs nearly three million people.

As per capita disposable income increases, consumers are spending more on groceries to buy premium and organic foods. This shift has contributed to the increase in revenue for the industry. Supermarkets are also continuing to see steady sales in private or store-label brands, which are cheaper for the consumer as well as less costly to produce.

The grocery and supermarket industry is exposed to risks from rising agricultural prices. Prices can increase due to drought, flood, trade wars, or other national or global stressors. When this happens, companies must either pass these increases on to consumers or take a reduction in profits.

Article Sources

  1. National Retail Federation. "Top 100 Retailers 2019." Accessed Jan. 18, 2020.

  2. Kroger.com. "Kroger Family of Companies." Accessed Jan. 18, 2020.

  3. Albertsons Companies. "Our Business." Accessed Jan. 18, 2020.

  4. HEB.com. "Our History." Accessed Jan. 18, 2020.

  5. Royal Ahold Delhaize. "United States: All the facts about our stores in the U.S." Accessed Jan. 18, 2020.

  6. IBISWorld. "Supermarkets & Grocery Stores Industry in the US - Market Research Report." Accessed Feb. 3, 2020.