Our survey reveals your best and worst supermarkets for 2021.

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Supermarkets play a significant role in the lives of Australians, one that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted. Over the past 12 months or so, supermarkets have frequently made the news headlines, with stories about the panic buying of toilet paper, grocery stockpiling, product purchase limits and dedicated opening hours for essential workers, to name just a few.

Two years on from our previous survey, the concept of supermarket satisfaction now has a pandemic-related criterion. A supermarket may have helpful staff, efficient checkouts, good-quality produce and easy parking – but how happy are customers with its approach to cleaning and other COVID-safe measures?

People are also doing more and more of their grocery shopping online, a trend that’s likely to continue. Are the supermarkets that offer this service delivering a good experience?

We asked more than 3100 supermarket shoppers to tell us what they really think of their supermarket, so we can tell you which are the best – and the worst. We put the spotlight on COVID-safety measures, and ask customers how happy they are with their supermarket’s approach. We also find out which supermarket offers the best online shopping experience.

Which is your favourite supermarket?

Although online grocery shopping is on the rise, most people still prefer to shop in the bricks-and-mortar branches of supermarkets – mainly because they like to check the quality of fresh produce (like fruit, vegetables, meat and fish) before they buy. It’s easier to browse and compare different products instore, according to our survey respondents.

Between them, Coles and Woolworths have almost 67.5% of Australia’s grocery market. This duopoly certainly dominates in terms of the number of stores and geographical distribution, but does sheer presence (and the convenience this offers) translate to satisfied instore customers?

Happy shoppers

Our survey results show that when it comes to shopping in-store, SA-based Foodland (82%) is your favorite supermarket, closely followed by SA/Qld-based Drakes (79%) and NSW-based Harris Farm Markets (78%).

These chains received the highest overall scores for supermarket satisfaction. They also rated higher than their competitors across various criteria including a range of products and brands available, and the availability of locally produced foods.

If you’re after value for money, shoppers rate Aldi highest – something we repeatedly find in our regular grocery prices survey – although Costco rates well for value, too. And Harris Farm Markets is a clear winner when it comes to the quality of fresh produce.

So what of the duopoly? Woolworth’s rates above average for store appearance and layout, clarity of unit pricing signage, and the amount and availability of specials and discounts. And both Coles and Woolworths rate above average for the availability of the preferred type of checkout, range of products and brands available, and ease of using trolleys and baskets. But the only criterion they rate best for (on par with Foodland) is their opening hours – they rate lower than at least some of their competitors on all other criteria.

We’ve profiled each supermarket chain below. For a more detailed comparison, including scores for all 10 supermarkets against 19 criteria, check out our full supermarket satisfaction survey review.