H-E-B tops Trader Joe’s as No. 1 grocery retailer in US, study finds

7,000 US households surveyed

SAN ANTONIO – Texas’ favorite grocer, H-E-B, is now the top U.S. grocery retailer for the first time, according to a new report by dunnhumby that has been cited nationally.

Dunnhumby is a company that examines customer data science.

This year, H-E-B dethroned Trader Joe’s, which took the No. 2 spot.

The results were based on the retailer preference index survey combined with retailers’ financial performance, dunnhumby said.

“The RPI study surveyed 7,000 U.S. households to determine which of the top 60 largest grocery retailers have the strongest combination of financial performance and consumer emotional sentiment,” dunnhumby said in a news release.

The customer data science company said: “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.”

According to the survey, for the third year in a row, price and quality remained the most important customer needs.

"One of the most important findings is that leading traditional regional grocers are experiencing a resurgence in customer preference, by winning with relevance and convenience,” said Jose Gomes, president of North America for dunnhumby. “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.”

The following is a list of 14 grocers with the highest overall customer preference index scores:

1. H-E-B

2. Trader Joe’s

3. Amazon

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

About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes breaking news, COVID-19 coverage, personal finance stories on the "Money: It's Personal" series, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" series.