We all love food. We all love food shops. That's our business. But how often do we get to step back and fully appreciate the simple pleasure of shopping for food ourselves? Not often enough.

So once again we're celebrating the best the food retail industry has to offer with our list of the World's Greatest Food Retailers.

This time we've kept to a single list of 25 instead of dividing the rankings into specialists and supermarkets.

Our Academy of Experts, put together specially for this poll, has come up with a list of retailers that they feel are the best of the best in the world at the moment.

Take Whole Foods Market. Has any single business been acclaimed as highly by its competitors in any industry? Or London's The Ginger Pig. It's not famous, it's not big, but the food is fantastic.

Whether it's a supermarket or a specialist, a one-outlet family business or a 200-outlet chain, food quality has to come first. But other criteria were, of course, considered by our Academy, which consisted of top designers, architects, analysts, journalists, consultants, marketeers, suppliers and, of course, retailers.

Merchandising, the atmosphere in stores and staff knowledge, were just some of the other factors assessed. The result is a diverse mix of stores from 14 different countries. But they are all united by a single characteristic - they expertly tap into a consumer need that the majority of other retailers do not, whether that's demand for organic, gourmet, range or just a fabulous shopping experience.

These retailers are not afraid to innovate, they stock a great array of produce and their stores are exciting to shop - whether you're approaching the offer as a consumer or as someone who understands the ins and outs of the industry.

Let us know what you think.

E-mail your views to grocer.letters@william-reed.co.uk