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These Are the Safest Grocery Store Chains to Shop Right Now

These brands received the highest marks in health and safety practices, according to a new consumer poll.
Woman wearing white medical face mask to prevent infection, arriving home, holding paper shopping bag. Protection against coronavirus

A new "Consumer Health & Safety Index" poll was released this Wednesday by Ipsos, a global research firm, that reveals the top three safest national grocery store chains to shop right now. The survey polled 2,000 Americans on which health and safety practices were most important to them during the coronavirus outbreak. Then, get this, the researchers at Ipsos deployed a bunch of "mystery shoppers" to personally visit 45 major national grocery store chains to see which chains followed these measures the best.

Sneaky, huh? But, it was all in the name of research—and research that will help protect grocery shoppers nationwide.

"The ability to deliver on health and safety efforts is now the most important aspect of the customer experience, and it will be for some time," Nick Mercurio, executive vice president and service line head of U.S. Channel Performance at Ipsos, said in a press release about the survey findings.

"Ensuring protections are in place to keep consumers safe, healthy, and loyal in the 6-foot economy is the primary driver that inspired our inaugural Consumer Health & Safety index," he continued.

Considering that the poll found that 62% of shoppers would stop shopping at a retailer that was not taking health and safety seriously, here are the three grocery chains that were determined to be doing the best job at keeping their customers and staff safe.


Whole Foods

inside whole foods market

The Amazon-owned, high-end, national food chain came out on top in Ipsos's poll. "Whole Foods demonstrated near-universal compliance with associates wearing face coverings inside (98%), respecting 6-foot boundaries in customer interactions inside (91%), providing plexiglass barriers at checkout (95%), and offering contactless payment (87%) at the stores visited," the report found. Related: 20 Surprisingly Cheap Eats from Whole Foods.

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The Seattle-based discount retail club came in just behind Whole Foods. According to Ipsos, "Employees at 83% of Costco stores visited wore face coverings properly outside the store, and employees at 95% of the stores visited wore face coverings properly inside the store. 94% of the stores visited had social distancing markers present inside the store." For more, make sure to check out the 7 Shopping Mistakes You're Making at Costco.

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's store front

Good old Trader Joe's rounds out the top three "due to their consistency and attention to the most important health and safety factors to consumers," reported Ispos. "Consumer research conducted by Ipsos confirmed that active monitoring of traffic and guest occupancy is something consumers value significantly. Trader Joe's far surpasses all the other grocery retailers in this area, with 94% of stores visited actively managing this process at the entrance." Related: These are the Most Popular Trader Joe's  Products.

For more safe grocery shopping tips, sign up for our daily newsletter to keep yourself informed on the latest news, and check out these major changes coming to your grocery store's aisles.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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