Ding Ding!

It's official: After spending much of the past few years at nothing better than a four-star rank, SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU) has impressed enough top-performing members of our 165,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community recently to climb to a top-ranked five stars. A total of 274 members have given their opinion on the supermarket operator, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

With SUPERVALU swinging to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter thanks to a large effort to reduce costs and drive future growth, some CAPS members see the grocer as a solid turnaround play. Its recent drop in share price, resulting in a mid-single-digit earnings multiple, has more investors thinking the stock is a super value, too.

But the road ahead certainly isn't clear for companies in the grocery sector. Heavy competition squeezed sales in Safeway's (NYSE: SWY) latest quarter and Kroger's (NYSE: KR) recent quarterly bottom line was hit hard by lower margins as the sector takes aim at king discounter Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT). And the low-price behemoth hasn't slowed either, as both it and Target (NYSE: TGT) have pushed further into food sales, with Wal-Mart recently dragging Target into a price war.                  

But a general uptick in the economy could provide a boost for SUPERVALU. Recent earnings reports from other food retailers suggest that, while still tight, consumer spending on food is slowly on the mend. Wholesale retailer Costco (Nasdaq: COST) has seen customers opening up their wallets more, and even more high-end retailers like Whole Foods (Nasdaq: WFMI) have reported shoppers spending a little more.

The changes SUPERVALU has been making have some CAPS members seeing potential. It's launching new stores and freeing up shelf space to make room for higher-margin private-label products. Some CAPS members also like the restructuring of its board of directors, aimed at bringing new ideas to the table.

Do you think SUPERVALU deserves its top-tier status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company and check out all the information and opinions the community offers, absolutely free.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his grocery list with a few more items from the ice cream isle. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Costco and Wal-Mart are Inside Value recommendations. Costco and Whole Foods Market are Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Costco. The Fool's disclosure policy is a super value, especially considering that it's free.