If you were trying to hazard a guess at which grocery store sells the most sushi, you might naturally assume it would be one of the big wholesalers such as Costco or Sam's Club. Or perhaps you would go with a store known for its natural and organic, eco-minded ethos like Whole Foods Market. But no, leading the charge in purveying those raw seafood rolls that people either seem to love or hate is Kroger, which sells more than 40 million pieces of sushi in an average year. In 2022, that number was 44 million rolls.
The Cincinnati-based chain isn't exactly small. In fact, it's the largest grocer in the United States with approximately 2,800 stores that operate under a host of different names across 35 states and it rakes in annual sales of $132.5 billion. It has also openly acknowledged that pushing sushi is part of its marketing strategy to help draw people into its doors and get them to spend even more money on prepared meals. More than two out of three Kroger stores have designated sushi sections, and Stuart Aitken, the chain's chief merchant and marketing officer, told the Wall Street Journal, "When customers think of sushi, we want them to think of Kroger."
Read more: Here Are The Signs You're Eating Cheap Fish
Not The Best, But Certainly Not The Worst
Grocery store sushi is big business in the U.S., with a sales increase of over 70% for American retailers from 2019-2023. Supermarkets have been vying for a larger share of the sushi market in competition with restaurants, capitalizing on its popularity and the wide variety of roll combinations and flavors that appeal to diverse palates.
While Kroger beat out the competition in peddling the highest quantity of sushi, when it comes to quality, respondents to our survey about the best grocery store sushi overwhelmingly chose Whole Foods Market as its top choice, with 46.95% of participants selecting the Amazon-owned supermarket. Kroger finished in a distant second, claiming 18.62% of the vote.
Since supermarket sushi can be a real hit-or-miss venture anyway, perhaps it is more important to know which grocery store has the worst sushi, according to consumers. That dubious distinction belongs to none other than Walmart, with nearly 55% of Mashed survey respondents picking the world's largest retailer as the nation's most disappointing grocery store sushi. Kroger fell somewhere in the middle, with 14.65% of the vote. So while Kroger may not be recognized as the best sushi, it is certainly no slouch as its sales figures validate.
Read the original article on Mashed.