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Mar 31, 2013 09:26 AM

HEB pushing their own label

I don't know how many of you have an H E B grocery near or how many
shop there, but here in my town, we have two stores (they recently bought out the Albertson's and turned it into another H E B). I've noticed over the past few months that they are stocking the shelves and frozen foods sections with their house label items. For some this may be a good thing as sometimes the house label items are less expensive than national brands. The one thing that stands out in particular to me is that in some cases their brand produce is inferior to a similar national brand. The Main Street H E B here has been out of Stouffer's Mac and Cheese in the 2-3 serving size for about a year. I've inquired several times and been told that they are carrying the Central Market brand of Mac and Cheese now. Too bad. The Central Market brand is dry and tasteless. No one approaches Stouffer's imo. They carry many Stouffer's items, but not the best one! Another item is their canned corned beef hash. My husband likes this item, but not the H E B brand. Where's the Mary Kitchen????? Far too many cans of H E B tomatoes, but fewer DelMonte. Has anyone else noticed the shelves of their local H E B loaded with H E B brands, but not as many national brands of the same item? Maybe it's just my store, but I'm interested in knowing if it's a state-wide phenom.

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  1. I absolutely agree, their aim is to only have HEB products, it seems. By the way, their bread is terrible, I now spend over a dollar more for brand name bread and it is well worth it!!

    1. I do not regularly shop at HEB because the stores nearest to me are older and dumpy. They tend to be smaller and have much less variety. I do occasionally go miles out of my way to shop at much newer and nicer stores.

      Many years ago, before I stopped shopping at the one near me, I noticed the burgeoning presence and then preponderance of Hill Country Fare products, particularly in the canned goods and frozen foods departments. In some cases this was okay but not in all. Then they started carrying the Central Market 'gourmet' items. I've tried several of the latter and found them to not be worth buying. One time a checker urged me to try their Creamy Creations ice cream which she said was better than Blue Bell. I'll never need to be reminded to not take advice from that checker again.

      To be fair, when I shop at the newer and much larger stores, I don't notice the bias so much. Those stores have a much wider variety of merchandise across the board.

      And I'm not sure this is limited to HEB. Walmart carries a lot of Great Value products, especially in the frozen foods section, and, like HEB, a very limited selection of Bird's Eye or Pict-Sweet.

      1. The HEB frozen veg are better than national. I love the edamame in the shell and flash frozen artichoke hearts. Also, the regional line of BBQ sauces is very good...Texas, Carolina, KC.

        1. It's not just your store.

          My main beef with HEB is their fresh fruit. They sell apples/oranges/peaches the size of a new born's head...and at premium (I hate that over-used term!) prices. I'd rather by fresh produce at Sprout's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowngroove

            Well that's true. I bought two of the smallest Honeycrisp apples I could find in the bunch yesterday and they were $5.45, 1.4 lbs.

          2. I try never to buy HEB products. Not as good as the national brands. Way too many HEB stores in Texas now. Need more competition....Tom Thumb, Kroger. Where are you out here in the Hill Country?

            1 Reply
            1. re: HillCountryWoman

              Although this is a zombie thread, I'll add my thoughts. Of course H-E-B is "pushing their own label"; it's a business. With that said, I find their products to be as good as, if not better, than the national ones (and at a better price). With the exception of just a few items (Wesson Oil is an example)that I will not compromise on, the majority of our grocery purchases are the H-E-B brand. To each his own, I guess.