In this week’s issue, we present ‘The World’s 50 Best Grocers’. Instructed by a robust and democratic methodology - in which 25 well-travelled judges with expertise across five continents delivered verdicts on 200-plus nominations from readers of The Grocer - our list is packed with insights into successful supermarket chains, discounters, convenience operators, food markets and food emporia.

One thing is clear: discounters aren’t just growing fast in the UK - where supermarkets have successfully limited their expansion, until recently, at least - but in established strongholds too, with Trader Joe’s (the US), Loblaws (Canada), Usave (sub-Saharan Africa) and Biedronka (Poland) particularly impressing. I also loved some of the radical tactics our 50 Best employ, including hosting live bands in a c-store to attract youngsters (7 Eleven).

And I was pleased our list isn’t crammed full of old-fashioned and upmarket grocery stores, or lavishly appointed (and priced) food emporia and food markets. I value their theatre, range and quality as much as anyone. And some rightly feature here. But to be the ‘best’, it is not always enough to stock gorgeous produce and display it with a flourish. You’ve also got to make money. So I commend and thank our judges for recognising the value of ‘success’ as a criterion.

“To be the ‘best’, it is not always enough to stock gorgeous produce and display it with a flourish”

Adam Leyland, Editor

I am also pleased our list is genuinely international. While the UK is certainly well represented (as befits such a competitive and sophisticated market), our methodology ensured any temptation to pander to our local readership has been avoided.

Obviously, this will mean we upset a few people, including the under-pressure Morrisons, The Co-operative Group, Iceland and ‘foodie’ destinations like Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnums, which we all know and love. But the objective of this exercise is not to please people. Acting as the centrepiece of our international issue, our list of The World’s 50 Best Grocers, like The Grocer itself, is there to provoke debate. Tell us what you think of our choices, either via, on our website, or @TheGrocer, using the hashtag #50bestgrocers.

You can see the complete list here. To get all of the details subscribe now. We’ll also send you your own copy of the 9th March issue featuring the whole report.