This regional grocery chain just beat out Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to be named vegetarians' favorite shopping destination

  • Vons topped a ranking of grocery chains where vegetarians and others seeking meat alternatives are most likely to shop. 
  • The West Coast chain triumphed over rivals including Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. 
  • Vons is a 112-year-old grocery chain that has a cult following in Southern California and Nevada. 

Vons —a California-based regional grocer — topped a new list of vegetarian-leaning shoppers' favorite grocery chains. 

People shopping for meat alternatives such as Beyond Meat and Morningstar are more likely to buy the products at Vons than at any other grocery chain in the United States, according to a new report from location-intelligence company inMarket. The West Coast chain is followed by Publix in the No. 2 spot and Sprouts in No. 3. 

inMarket analyzed all major US grocery chains for the report, using anonymous location data to find the chains that someone who buys Beyond Meat or Morningstar are more likely to visit compared to the average American shopper. Other standouts included Whole Foods, which was in the No. 5 spot, and Trader Joe's, which is No. 6. 

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Competitor coupons at Publix

Did you see a coupon from a competitor instead of Publix? Bring that coupon with you! Publix posts a list of competitors at each store, allowing you to bring in a coupon you saw elsewhere and get that same deal right at Publix.

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Double coupon policy at Wegmans

Speaking of coupons, Wegmans offers a stellar deal with their double coupon policy. If you saw a coupon from a manufacturer that was less than $0.99 in value, Wegmans will not only give you that coupon but will also reward you with another $0.99 off. If the price is above $1, they will still give you the coupon’s face-value deal. Don't miss these 19 shopping tricks all frugal shoppers use.

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Return policy at Trader Joe's

Hated the recent flavor of Joe Joes? Just return them! That’s right, even after trying something, you can actually return it if you found it unbearable. Trader Joe’s will happily take it back and give you a refund.

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Combos Locos deals at H-E-B

Do you get coupons for H-E-B? If not, well, you should. H-E-B offers a coupon deal called Combos Locos where, when buying two items together, you get discounted prices. For example, a deal could include a bag of salad with a free bottle of dressing! Keep an eye out for deals on their website. Here are more sneaky ways to find great deals online.

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Bargain bins at Aldi

Nope, these bargain bins actually aren’t a rip off (like some bargain bins turn out to be). You are going to want to take advantage of the incredible deals at Aldi’s bargain bin because the low prices will actually knock your socks off.

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B1G1 and B2G3 sales at Harris Teeter

Buy-one-get-one deals, or even buy-two-get-three deals, are always a draw for people trying to buy bulk at a grocery store, But what make’s Harris Teeter special is the secret behind those deals. Instead of offering one item full price and another completely free, the items just ring up as half off. So if you only need one pound of meat and don’t have room in your freezer for another, that meat will still ring up as 50 percent off! Plus, try making these healthy food swaps that can actually save you money.

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Fuel Saver + Perks program at Hy-Vee

Loved the fuel saver program through Hy-Vee? Well, their new-and-improved program is going to have you jumping out of your seat. With this new membership, you can save big using digital deals and coupons target specifically for your shopping list, receive surprise savings, and even get the chance to win rewards! Some of those include kitchen makeovers, vacation packages and even a new car.

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The back of the store at Costco

That’s right—the back of the store is where you’re going to find all of the deals. By working your way forward, you are finding the best bang for your buck. Make sure to walk through “center court” (the savings aisles in the center of the store) and to avoid the front at all costs. The front is known as “action alley” and will rarely give you the type of deals that you crave. Check out these money-saving things you can do at Costco without a membership.

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The jobs at WinCo

Not only are WinCo deals even cheaper than Walmart most of the time, they also offer incredible employee benefits. Like being a part-owner of the store, for example. If you work at WinCo for over 500 hours in the first six months and 1,000 hours in a year, you are eligible for the Employee Stock Ownership program. They also offer incredible benefits including retirement savings and insurance.

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The app from Whole Foods

Whole Foods may sit more on the expensive side, but their app can actually help you save those dollar bills. It’s completely free and loaded with coupons and current deals, giving you a leg up on what to grab in the grocery store.

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Free Item Fridays at Fry's and Kroger

Because Fry’s is a Kroger brand, these two offer the same incredible deal every week—free item Fridays! Find out what you can get for free by downloading the coupon the day before heading to the grocery store.

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Meal deals at Winn Dixie

Every week Winn Dixie offers meal deals where they hand you not one, not two, but three items for free. The meal deal typically comes with a specifically chosen entree. Once you get the entree, you can get the chosen sides (typically a carbohydrate, a vegetable, and a dessert) for free.

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Tuesdays at Target

You may not realize it, but most department stores work off a markdown schedule in certain departments each day of the week. Although every store is different, shopping at Target’s Market (the grocery part of the store) is best for savings on Tuesday. However, there is no harm in asking a sales associate when your local Target’s specific markdown schedule is. Here are more sneaky ways to save money at Target.

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Super Coupons at ShopRite

If you still love to get coupons mailed to your home, then you better be digging for those ShopRite super coupons. These coupons will offer you deals you probably couldn’t even dream about and will make your wallet sing songs of praise. You can also check out a lot of their other coupon deals online at their Digital Coupon Center.

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The MVP kiosk at Food Lion

After signing up for the MVP Program at Food Lion, you’ll want to take advantage of their kiosk ASAP. Simply scan your MVP card when you’re in the store to see what deals are going on for that day, and even a set of personalized coupons based on your recent purchases. But be on the lookout for these 32 retail scams that trick you into spending more.

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SimpleNutrition tags at Albertsons

Just like their Everyday Low Prices and Club Card Savings, Albertsons offers deals on their healthy products by using their SimpleNutrition tags. So instead of ignoring those healthier foods because of the prices, scout Albertsons for these tags to save big and eat healthily.

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Free item codes at Meijer

Every now and then, Meijer will post codes on their Facebook and Twitter for mPerk members to get free items. They offer all sorts of items for free, and if you follow them on social media, you’ll always come across some incredible deals. Make sure you memorize the best times to buy cheap finds throughout the year.

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Cash back at Sam's Club

That’s right—they just hand it to you! For every $500 you spend, you get $10 back. That may not seem like a lot, but if you’re a faithful Sam’s Club shopper, that can seriously add up as the year progresses. Don't miss these other surprisingly simple ways to save big at the supermarket.

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SavingStar at Stop & Shop

If you have a Stop & Shop card (or a Giant card, since they are owned by the same company) you can actually earn cash back when using some of the offers. Just click the offers you want to use on the app.

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The price match policy at Walmart

Saw a cheaper price somewhere else? Bring those ads with you to Walmart! You can get the cheaper deal by showing the associate that pricing, who can then walk you through a process to get that same deal right at the store. Wherever you shop, just make sure you avoid these 50 supermarket tricks you still fall for.

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Vons' appeal to vegetarians and other people buying meat alternatives may be tied to its West Coast roots. 

The grocery chain was founded in 1906 in Los Angeles. 

"Downtown Los Angeles was essentially a small town when Charles Von der Ahe opened his 20-foot wide Groceteria on the corner of 7th and Figueroa in 1906 with $1,200 in savings," the company says on its website. "It was a neighborhood store that catered to the needs of local families, where Von der Ahe pioneered 'cash and carry' as an alternative to 'charge and delivery.'"

Vons claims to have invented the "first true supermarket as we know them today" when the company added meat and deli departments in the 1940s. 

By the 1970s, Vons was the top grocery retailer in Southern California, with more than 150 stores and 16,000 employees. 

Albertsons acquired Vons in a $9 billion deal in 2014, when the grocery company purchased Vons' parent company, Safeway. 

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Today, Vons has 273 locations in Southern California and Nevada. 

While Vons may not have quite the level of rabid loyalty that a grocery chain like Wegmans inspires, it is beloved by many Southern Californians.

Customers are drawn to the chain for its deli sandwiches, discounts, and — as seen by the report — vegetarian options. Tom Carson argued in Los Angeles magazine that people living in the city additionally have a special attachment to California-based chains, like Vons, that give them a sense of home. 

"It’s a question of suddenly incomplete civic identity — a nagging gap in one’s everyday mental equilibrium," Carson writes. "Where we shop for groceries is more important than we often realize in helping us feel connected to a place."

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