But there’s a hitch

The Kroger Company consistently shows up at the top of any list identifying the largest food retailers in the United States as they operates over 2,700 stores, including some that operate under the Ralphs, King Soopers, and Dillon’s brands. In FY 2023 Kroger reported over $148 billion in revenue which is far ahead of second place Albertsons which owns Safeway, Acme and Tom Thumb. Of course it is important to remember that Kroger (the largest traditional Supermarket company in the U.S.) and Albertsons (the second largest) have are still trying to complete their merger. If successful, the combined Kroger/Albertsons entity will dwarf other supermarket chains but still lag behind Walmart.

But there is a hitch. When most people think about supermarkets they think about the stores where they go to buy their food. But the supermarket retail format is defined strictly as a store offering a full-line of groceries, meat, and produce with at least $2 million in annual sales. They typically carry about 15,000 SKUs, provide a service deli and frequently offer a service bakery. Most of a traditional supermarket’s revenue is still generated from grocery/food products but up to 15 percent of sales stem from general merchandise/health and beauty care (GMHBC) category. The hitch is that the company that sells far more food than any other – including Kroger – is not categorized as a Supermarket. That company is Walmart.

Despite the fact that in 2023, grocery sales accounted for 58.8% of Walmart’s net sales in the United States, Walmart isn’t counted in the lists of the largest supermarkets. With food/grocery revenues exceeding $247 billion Walmart is clearly the leader in any list of top U.S. ‘grocery chains’. However, this category quirk leaves the #2 food retailer, Kroger Co., to top the list largest supermarket companies – even though Walmart sells far more food than Kroger.

Below is a list of the top 5 US Supermarket companies (minus Walmart)

Supermarket CompanyRevenue
The Kroger Co.$148.258 billion (FY 2023)
Albertsons$77.65  billion (FY 2023)
Royal Ahold Delhaize USA$56.72 billion (FY 2023 U.S. as a % of Worldwide)
Publix Super Markets$54 billion (FY 2022)
H.E. BUTT GROCERY CO$43.6 billion (FY 2023)

Search the web for more details