Publix vs Kroger – The Great Debate

Here in Atlanta, our main grocery stores are Publix and Kroger. It seems like everyone that I talk to has a strong opinion about which is better. I, on the other hand, don’t. I go to both and I think that they each have their strengths and weeknesses (that’s a word, right? Mars Edit doesn’t recognize it.). I can’t decide which I like better so I thought I’d do a little comparison of the two and what I’ve noticed about each of them. This just applies to the Publix and Kroger that are closest to my house.

Closest – Kroger is a little bit closer but Publix isn’t far. I would have to drive past Kroger to get to Publix. (Kroger wins)

Store Hours – Kroger is open 24 hours. Publix is open until 10 or 11. (Kroger wins)

Parking Lot – The Kroger parking lot drives me crazy. There’s a Walmart in the same shopping center and there are tons of people. The Publix parking lot is calmer. (Publix wins)

Niceness of store – The Kroger by me is a pretty average Kroger. I’ve seen way nicer and I’ve seen way worse. Publix is generally the same from store to store. Publix is a nicer store. (Publix wins)

Friendliness of employees – Publix wins by a landslide here. Some of the Kroger employees are nice, but I have had a lot of run ins with disgruntled check out cashiers. Plus, sometimes the baggers run away and I feel like I have to bag my groceries myself because the cashier sure isn’t doing it. (Publix wins)

Price – Now both grocery stores claim to be cheaper. I find that generally Kroger is less expensive, however there are certain items that you can get for less at Publix, which I will get into in a minute. Publix also sends us a $5 off coupon in the mail every week but I think Kroger is still cheaper. (Kroger wins)

Pre-packaged food – I sometimes go to Publix to pick up lunch because they have a lot of pre-packaged salads and fruit bowls. Kroger does not. Also, Publix has better sushi. (Publix wins)

Deli/Salad Bar – While some Krogers have a salad bar, most Publix’s (Publi?) do and although it’s no Whole Foods, it’ll do in a pinch. They also have good subs. (Publix wins)

Natural Food section – Publix and Kroger have different set ups when it comes to “natural foods”. Kroger has a separate section for them and Publix tries to integrate them into the aisle. While I understand the rational for putting the organic tomato sauces with the regular, having certain products in a separate section makes them easier to find. There have been many times when I’ve had trouble finding something “natural” at Publix and had to ask an employee. Tofu that isn’t refrigerated comes to mind. My specific Kroger has a rather large natural foods section, although not all of them do. (Kroger wins)

Chobani – For some reason, Publix has a much better selection of Chobani yogurt than Kroger does. Kroger has some flavors but Publix has them all. (Publix wins)

La Tortilla – These are my favorite tortillas and they are MUCH cheaper at Publix. I think they are $2.99 there and $4.99 at Kroger! (Publix wins)

Frozen Pizza – Publix brand frozen pizza rocks. Seriously, look at all these veggies. That’s pretty impressive for a frozen pizza, I think.

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Plus, you could eat the entire thing for 570 calories. (Publix wins)

Funny signs – I’ve only seen this in my Kroger, but it cracks me up every time. Wonder what’s in this aisle? (Kroger wins)

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So the grand total is 5 for Kroger and 8 for Publix which would make it sound like Publix is the better store, but some of these categories are not equal. You can’t compare price to Chobani yogurt selection! I still can’t decide, so I guess I’ll do what I do now: go to both.

What’s your favorite grocery store?

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