Walmart vs Publix | Which One Is Cheaper & Better For You?

Most grocery shoppers are familiar with both Walmart and Publix, however, they may not know which one is better. While both are prominent grocery chains, which one is better for you? To help you answer this question, I took a look at each store’s product prices, product quality, product variety (and more), to help you figure out which store is best for you.


Which is Better: Walmart or Publix? In terms of pricing, Walmart is cheaper than Publix for most of their store brand products. Walmart also offers a much wider variety of products online and in-store. However, in terms of product quality, Publix historically sells safer and higher quality products.


Is Walmart More Cheaper Than Publix?

Most shoppers consider price as a big factor in where they shop. Typically, the store that offers a more affordable price will draw more customers. So when looking at both Walmart and Publix, which one is cheaper? In other words, which one is more affordable to the average grocery shopper?


I took a look at the prices for the most commonly purchased store brand items in each store, to get a good idea of which one offers the best pricing.


Category Walmart Brand Publix Brand
Baking Goods
Canned Goods
Dry Goods
Frozen Foods
Personal Care


After looking through the store brand items from each store, it seems that Walmart offers better prices in more shopping categories than Publix. 

More specifically, Walmart is cheaper in 8 different shopping categories than Publix. The only category that I found where Publix appeared to be cheaper was in the cleaning products category


So if you are a shopper that prioritizes price over everything else, then you are much more suited to buy your products at Walmart.


Why Is Publix More Expensive Than Walmart?

The biggest reason why Walmart is cheaper than Publix is because Walmart is able to leverage their economies of scale. In other words, Walmart is able to  buy products from their suppliers at reduced prices because they are buying in such high volumes. Most other grocery stores can not compete in this way, thus giving Walmart the upperhand in product pricing.

Product Variety: Walmart vs Publix

If you are someone that likes to shop around when you go to the grocery store, then product variety is a very important factor. When looking at both of these stores, which one offers a wider option of products?


Walmart is considered a hypermarket, whereas Publix is considered a supermarket. This means that Walmart is a combination of a department store and a supermarket, and Publix is only a supermarket. So, by nature, Walmart has a much larger variety of products.


Product Quality: Walmart vs Publix

In terms of product quality, both Walmart and Publix are renowned for their high quality products. However, which one has better quality? I visited the FDA’s recall website, which

allowed me to see how many times each store had recalled products, thus giving a better idea of which store has higher quality products. 


Below is the chart breaking down the different product recalls by category:


Category Walmart Recalls Publix Recalls
Animal & Veterinary 2 1
Biologics 0 0
Cosmetics 0 0
Dietary Supplements 0 0
Drugs 5 0
Food And Beverages 20 14
Medical Devices 0 0
Radiation Emitting Products 0 0
Tobacco 0 0


According to the FDA’s website, Walmart has had a total of 27 different instances of product recalls, whereas Publix has only had 15. While the FDA website does not account for all recalls, it does provide a reliable representation of product Quality.


So, it seems that Publix does have higher quality products, especially in the drugs and food & beverage categories.


Does Publix Have Better Meat Than Walmart?

Based on the table above, Publix has had fewer instances of recalls in their Food & Beverages category. This means that Publix fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat are likely a bit better quality than Walmart.


With this being said, both retailers do sell high quality meats, it just so happens that Publix hasn’t had as many recalls on FDA regulated food and beverage products.


Which Has More Locations: Walmart or Publix?

Both stores are quite prominent and well known throughout the United States, but which one has more stores. For context, Walmart has locations all throughout the country, whereas Publix stores are mainly located in southern US states


Total Walmart Locations (Domestic) Total Publix Locations (Domestic)
4700 1300


In total, Walmart has about 4,700 locations and Publix has about 1300 locations. This means that Walmart has more than 3.6 times as many stores as Publix, which means they are likely reaching a significantly higher amount of shoppers.

Who Pays More: Walmart or Publix?

While wage is probably less of a prominent factor in this grocery store comparison, it still is important to understand how the employees and staff are paid at each store. I took a look on Indeed to see what the average pay was for employees at each store.


Job Title Walmart Wage/Salary Publix Wage/Salary
Cashier $10.17/hour $10.00/hour
Stocker $12.63/hour $11.74/hour
Assistant Manager $39,589/year $45,111/hour
Store Manager $77,013/year $95,726/year


From the research it seems that Walmart typically pays higher for cashier and stocker roles, whereas Publix pays more for assistant manager and manager roles.


More specifically, Walmart pays about $0.17/hour more for the cashier role, and $0.89/hour more for the stocker role. Publix pays about $5,500/year more for the assistant manager role and $18,700/year more for their manager role.


Walmart vs Publix: Which One Is For You?

So, how do you know which store is better for you? Well, if you are a shopper that prefers low prices and product variety, then Walmart is likely the better choice. However, if you don’t mind paying higher prices, and prefer higher quality products, then you should shop at Publix.


It is important to understand what you value more when grocery shopping, so take note of what you like at the grocery stores. Once you have that in mind, then you can take a look at the data and make your decision.