QUEST FOR THE BEST: NYC SHOPPERS DIFFERENT FROM REST OF COUNTRY

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New Yorkers have always prided themselves on being different. When it comes to supermarket shopping, they certainly are.

New Yorkers view themselves as much savvier food shoppers than the rest of the nation, and much less satisfied with their supermarkets, according to the Crain's/Leo J. Shapiro survey.

"Asked what they like about grocery shopping, New Yorkers most often talk about products they can buy," said Sara Parikh, senior analyst with Shapiro. "New Yorkers enjoy shopping despite the fact it's a chore."

For New Yorkers, however, shopping in a supermarket is a compromise. Although the majority of them say they shop for food mainly in supermarkets, they rate the quality of products they find there lower than consumers across the country.

In most product categories, New Yorkers choose supermarkets less frequently than all U.S. consumers as the best place to shop.

For instance, only 50% of New Yorkers say supermarkets are the best place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, while 68% of consumers nationally choose supermarkets. Just 57% feel supermarkets offer the best fresh meat, while 72% of consumers nationally rate supermarkets highest in that category.

Only in canned or package goods do New Yorkers rate supermarkets as highly as consumers nationally.

Neighborhood stores play an important role for New Yorkers. A local store is convenient to more than six in 10 shoppers.

With so many options, New Yorkers also shop more frequently for food. New Yorkers head out to the food store an average of 2.8 times a week. Manhattanites lead the way, shopping 3.3 times a week for food, while Staten Islanders make the fewest number of weekly visits, 2.3. By contrast, consumers nationally shop an average of twice a week.

Almost three out of four Manhattanites hoof it to a food store, while roughly half of those in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx walk. By contrast, 75% of those on Staten Island drive to a food store.

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