The Quick Report

The 10 Most Overpriced Grocery Stores in the U.S.

Numerous factors have sent grocery prices skyrocketing. Even before these events, the following grocery store chains had much higher prices than their competitors. Here are the 10 most expensive, overpriced grocers in America.

10. PCC Community Markets

a bunch of apples and bananas are on display
Photo by Juan Ellul

PCC Community Markets was founded by 15 Seattle families who formed a food-buying club. Now, it’s the largest consumer-owned food co-op in the US. Fresh, seasonal, local, organic, and sustainable produce is its top priority. Customers say the chain of 15 stores is easily the most expensive in the Seattle area and other Washington locations.

9. Gelson’s

man standing beside fireplace facing backwards
Photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha

Founded in Burbank, California, in 1951, Gelson’s might be the first “luxury grocery store.” Nearly all its Southern California stores are in upper-class neighborhoods. There’s a juice bar, Wolfgang Puck’s build-your-own pizza station, a coffee bar, a bakery, and its own CBD-infused beauty products. Everything’s pricey. Gelson’s charges about $3 more for a gallon of milk than average stores.

8. Giant Eagle


Five families established Giant Eagle in 1936. While it’s known as one of the most innovative grocery stores around, it’s equally known for high prices. Giant Eagle consistently comes out on top for the highest prices compared to other grocery stores in its area. Still, customers love its wine and beer tastings, restaurant-quality prepared foods, and huge selection

7. Publix


Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the US, was founded in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida. It added a bakery in 1957. Publix is known for charging significantly more on groceries than other stores. For example, eggs are double that of other Florida stores, and milk is 50% higher. The company cites customer service and experience to justify its prices. 

6. Wegmans


Wegmans was founded in 1916 in Rochester, New York. Despite its high prices, people love the grocer. Wegmans offers an amazing ambiance, outstanding customer service, and top-quality, gourmet prepared foods. There’s also a large international section. Customers argue the prices are worth it. Wegmans ranked second to Disney World as the most-loved off-line brand in 2017.

5. The Fresh Market


The Fresh Market was founded in 1982 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The goal was to create a European-style open market. But you pay a premium for that farmer’s market atmosphere. There are also many pricey private-label products sourced from all over the world. Simply put, this isn’t a store for savings. The primary demographic is not the average shopper.

4. Acme Markets


What is now Acme was founded in 1891 by Irish immigrants in South Philadelphia. Today, this chain is popular in the mid-Atlantic. Acme’s prices are 12% higher on average. The store claims prices reflect high-quality products and friendly service. However, Acme ranked as one of the lowest in the US for quality and convenience, according to a Consumer Reports survey.

3. Harris Teeter


Harris and Teeter merged their separate markets in 1960 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kroger acquired the Southern-only chain in 2013 for $2.5 billion. Some experts say it’s the second-most costly grocer in the US. The chain focuses on high-quality and premium offerings, as well as prepared foods to go. They also have an enormous selection of alcohol and wines.

2. Whole Foods Market


Whole Foods, now a subsidiary of Amazon, started as a vegetarian natural food store in Austin in 1978. It’s been joked: “Whole Foods? More like your whole paycheck.” Prices are 20% higher than typical grocers on average. They were fined $800,000 for misleading customers and overcharging. Despite exorbitant prices, customers love them for their high standards and environmental stance.

Read More: 10 Overpriced Products That People STILL Buy

1. Erewhon Market

assorted-color fruit lot in green plastic baskets
Photo by Fikri Rasyid

Erewhon was founded in Boston in 1966 and moved to LA three years later. Who knew shopping at a particular grocery store was a status symbol? Celebrities flock to this luxury market such as Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Jake Gyllenhaal, Demi Lovato, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more. Vanity Fair reported a full shopping cart at Erewhon runs more than $1000.

Read More: 20 Grocery Store Rip-Offs You Should Never Buy