Top-shelf reputation

Texas' favorite market topples Trader Joe's as No. 1 grocery store in America

Texas' favorite market topples Trader Joe's as No. 1 grocery store

H-E-B MacGregor Market
H-E-B is the nation's top grocery store. Photo by Dave Rossman

For fans of San Antonio-based grocery chain H-E-B, “No store does more than my H-E-B” goes far beyond an advertising slogan. It’s a mantra. And a new national ranking proves it.

In the newly released Retailer Preference Index from consumer research firm Dunnhumby, H-E-B knocks Trader Joe’s from its two-year perch atop the list. The firm’s third annual index came out January 8.

“Regional powerhouse H-E-B’s move into first place — due to sustained focus and excellence on assortment relevance and private brand — is consistent with Dunnhumby’s findings that some regional grocers are getting stronger and are now going toe-to-toe with leading non-traditional retailers,” the firm says. “By focusing on relevance, particularly assortment relevance, leading traditional grocers are leveraging their location advantages and making convenience a bigger part of determining which retailers are winning and losing.”

The firm surveyed 7,000 U.S. households to gather insights about the country’s 60 largest grocers. The index ranks grocers based on seven factors: price, quality, digital presence, operations, convenience, speed of service, and discounts and rewards.

“One of the most important findings is that leading traditional regional grocers [like H-E-B] are experiencing a resurgence in customer preference, by winning with relevance and convenience,” Jose Gomes, North American president of Dunnhumby, says in a release. “If they can compete on price and quality — the value core for grocers — they are especially well-positioned to fend off the growing threat of non-traditional players. This also leaves them better insulated against an economic downturn.”

As ranked by Dunnhumby, here are the top 14 grocers in the U.S.:

  1. H-E-B
  2. Trader Joe’s
  3. Amazon (which owns Austin-based Whole Foods Market)
  4. Market Basket
  5. Wegmans Food Markets
  6. Costco
  7. Aldi
  8. Sam’s Club
  9. Walmart
  10. Publix
  11. WinCo Foods
  12. Fresh Thyme
  13. Sprouts Farmers Markets
  14. ShopRite