Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in the United States, a proud claim at a time when consumers are thinking more about their needs versus their wants, scrutinizing prices, and trying to be prepared for anything in the face of a wildly unpredictable economy. 

Kroger’s current favorability rating nationwide is 40% of the general population aware of the chain, according to a CivicScience survey of 2,228 U.S. adults. While 51% of consumers surveyed were neutral about the Kroger brand, only 8% expressed a negative opinion of the chain. In addition, people who shop weekly or more at Kroger make up the largest grouping of Kroger shoppers over the last 30 days.

Kroger-favorable consumers are dominated by Gen Z shoppers: 55% say they are favorable toward Kroger and (as noted in data further down in the report) more than one-third shop there at least several times a month.

The Gen Z consumer can be picky about food and where it comes from, a sentiment easily gathered from CivicScience’s on-going tracking which proves Gen Z is a big supporter of supercenters and specialty co-ops. For a large, regional chain like Kroger to claim 50% of this segment of the population is an impressive feat to say the least.

Overall, Kroger-favorable consumers – regardless of age – prefer to buy groceries from large, regional chains, but to have such a firm grasp on Gen Z shoppers is still an enviable place to be. The competition gets thick when Walmart is factored in.

Supercenters, like Walmart and Target, have long challenged grocery chains with their ability to offer furniture, toys, and lawn mowers alongside milk, cheese, and other well-priced food items. While Kroger is definitely the largest true supermarket, Walmart’s grocery sales in 2020 were still much greater than Kroger’s. While it’s not a one-to-one comparison considering Walmart is much more than a supermarket (and Sam’s Club earnings were factored into 2020’s sales report), it’s still indicative of Walmart being one of the greatest retailers competing for the American grocery shopper.

Kroger isn’t too far behind Walmart when it comes to how frequently Gen Z is purchasing their groceries. The difficulty for Kroger is that as age increases, so do the percentages who rarely if ever shop at Kroger stores.

Tips for Kroger executives to consider have to do with grocery delivery and social media advertising. First, Kroger-favorable consumers have a 21% likelihood to intend on trying out grocery delivery services. For perspective, this is five percentage points greater than Walmart favorables reported likelihood to try. 

In addition, Kroger would do well to consider using TikTok and Instagram tactics to build brand awareness and engage new or existing consumers. Both TikTok and Instagram users gave more than 50% favorability toward Kroger and seem to favor Kroger more than Walmart, even if by just a hair.