These grocers are putting the “super” in supermarket

Zipline 💖: The best grocery brands in the US

February 10, 2022

When people say they love their supermarket of choice… they don’t mean it lightly. Just ask anyone standing in line at their local Trader Joe’s. Texans are fanatical about H-E-B the same way that Midwesterners are devoted to Hy-Vee. Rochester-based Wegman’s has a cult following. ALDI shoppers have social groups dedicated to the bizarre things that you can find on the infamous middle aisle (lovingly named “The Aisle of Shame.”) Once you’ve been to The Fresh Market, you can’t look at other shopping experiences the same way again. And if you know what’s good for you, you don’t dare get in between a Publix fan and a Kroger stan! 

More than virtually any other vertical of retail, grocery chains have a hold on the hearts of North America in a special way. Our beloved hometown supermarkets are integral to our homes and communities. (Zipliners have an entire Slack channel dedicated to sharing their Trader Joe’s finds, after all.)

Zipline 💖 grocery frontlines

Let’s be real, if we all had to shop in the same place, life would be pretty boring. That’s why it’s so fun to celebrate that amazing curbside pickup experience, those extra-fast check-out lines, the different options we have for extra-fresh produce, and those exclusive-to-our-store-extra-yummy-snacks. (H.E.B.’s fresh-made tortillas, are you kidding me?) So when USA Today put up the leaderboard for the best supermarket brand in the U.S., we Zipliners (and the rest of the nation) lost our minds. 

It hasn’t been easy to be a frontline worker in a grocery store during the last few years. From supply chain shortages, pandemic-related adaptations, to the changes in the labor market… grocery frontlines are taking the brunt of every crisis we’ve faced. It’s time to celebrate how resilient and amazing the grocery industry is. And if there’s anything Zipliners love more than supporting frontline workers in retail, it’s talking about the frontline workers we love to support! 

So, we’re thrilled to celebrate the grocery brands on the list that are using Zipline to align their entire fleet, ensuring those powerful brand values can be reflected at every level of their organization.

Here are the Zipline family members who made the list:

Hy-Vee: A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned grocery chain that operates more than 280 stores in 8 Midwestern states. Not only is Hy-Vee an exceptional grocery experience, but the brand has also pushed the boundaries a whole lot farther than any other traditional grocery store. In Grimes, IA, you’ll find much more than just groceries. With salad vending machines, a walk-in wine cellar, a full-service nail bar (and a WHOLE lot more), this store is setting a new template for what the supermarket experience can be. In a Total Retail Podcast, Hy-Vee’s SVP and Chief Digital Officer, Jessica Ringena, said that the pandemic “accelerated e-commerce and online shopping by several years.” 

Hy-Vee recognized the value of internal store comms early in the pandemic as it sought to get safety information out to its front-line associates. They rolled out Zipline to its 85,000 employees to help. Read more from Progressive Grocer about how Hy-Vee’s major expansion and the role that Zipline plays in the grocery brand’s plan to grow. 

Learn more about how Hy-Vee uses Zipline to engage employees and deliver personalized communication to the field.

The Fresh Market: Inspired by Europe

After the founders of The Fresh Market returned from a trip to Europe, they were inspired to bring the warmth, soul, and charm of open European food markets to Greensboro, North Carolina. The Fresh Market was 1982’s boutique food shopping experience in the midst of warehouse-style supermarket popularity. Today, with 159 locations in 22 states, The Fresh Market still provides an intimate and personalized shopping experience unique to their class. In fact, The Fresh Market was the winner of last year’s USA Today’s leaderboard as the “Best Supermarket in America” for 2021! 

Now, with Zipline, the brand engages its 5,000-plus team members, enabling communications to flow from HQ to stores, creating less friction for store operations, and driving better experiences for shoppers.

Read more about how The Fresh Market deployed Zipline to streamline communications via The Progressive Grocer.

The Fresh Market operates 159 stores in 22 states. The Greensboro, N.C.-based company is No. 76 on The PG 100, PG’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Employee-owned Hy-Vee, which has a team of more than 93,000 employees and operates 285-plus retail stores across eight states, is No. 34 on The PG 100.

See the Current Leaderboard for USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Best Supermarket Brand of 2022 here (and vote for your favorite!)

Zipline is the operations platform that powers Grocery’s most complex work. Zipline understands the unique pressures grocers are facing today and ensures that everyone in the field has the information, context, and tools needed to be successful in their particular roles. By aligning the fleet, Zipline enables agility at Hy-Vee and best-in-class customer experiences at The Fresh Market.

See how Zipline can retool your Grocery.

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