Midstate shoppers might be surprised to learn the commonwealth’s best grocery store is fairly close to home.
A crowdsourced ranking of consumers’ top supermarket choices in each state recently released by food and drink website The Daily Meal found Carlisle-based Giant Food Stores led the pack in Pennsylvania.
“To be recognized by The Daily Meal as the best grocery store in Pennsylvania is a great honor, especially for our dedicated and passionate store associates,” Giant President Tom Lenkevich said.
The Daily Meal compiled the rankings by poring over online reviews, local polls, social media posts and check-ins on sites including Google, Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook. Informal polls also were conducted to find out more about product quality, customer service and price.
The report excludes small specialty and gourmet markets, instead focusing “on the everyday shopping needs of the American consumer,” the website indicated.
“Still, you’ll find that independently owned, locally founded stores often won out over the local big chains like Kroger or Whole Foods,” the report added.
Founded in 1923 in Carlisle, Giant operates nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, under the Giant and Martin’s banners, employing more than 33,000 people.
It is a division of Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, which was formed in July from a merger of former parent Ahold and Delhaize Group.
The Daily Meal cited a Google review from a shopper named Robert Britton, who praised a Williamsport Giant store for its “great selection of name brand and store brand items,” as well as its “very nice employees and a nice interior.”
Britton went on to suggest his local store might not be the ‘hippest’ looking inside, but lower costs and excellent customer service help make it his favorite.
In other parts of the state, Giant’s formats are not just hip, but large.
The bigger examples can range from from 66,000 square feet (Lewisburg in Union County, for example) to more than 95,000 (as at Camp Hill and Willow Grove in suburban Philadelphia).
At the same time, Giant recently renovated a 51,800-square-foot former Nell’s Shurfine supermarket on Walnut Bottom Road in South Middleton Township, outside Carlisle, with many of the latest features and décor.
While most of the top picks in other states might be unfamiliar here, one chain with a strong Pennsylvania presence took top honors in Maryland: Wegmans.
The family-owned Rochester, N.Y.-based chain, which has a location in Silver Spring Township, now operates 90 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.