Here's one reason to fly south for the winter.

By Betty Gold
January 10, 2020
heb.com

According to a consumer study just released by data science company Dunnhumby, Texas-only supermarket chain H-E-B has replaced Trader Joe’s as the best supermarket in America. 

We're as shocked as you, but according to the study's Retail Preference Index (RPI), which examines the $700 billion U.S. Grocery market, H-E-B has the "strongest combination of financial performance and consumer emotional sentiment." 

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The overall RPI ranking evaluates a retailer's performance based on on seven pillars: price, quality, digital, operations, convenience, discounts/rewards, and speed. To gather the data, Dunnhumby commissioned a survey among 7,000 U.S. households and focused on the top 60 largest grocery retailers. And consistent with their results from the past two years, price and quality were the two most important customer needs for retailers to meet. Convenience comes next: it heavily impacts our ability to have an emotional bond with a retailer. Assortment relevance is also becoming a more powerful lever for driving convenience. 

Clearly, regional grocers—H-E-B being the prime example—are getting stronger in all of the above areas.

"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. This also leaves them better insulated against an economic downturn. In the end, there is no 'one size fits all' approach to winning in this market, and retailers with Customer First strategies are most likely to fare best."

This is H-E-B's first time has been rated as America's top grocery store; last year, they came in as the fourth top supermarket. Trader Joe's reigned supreme the past two years and is ranked second for 2020.

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Here are the 2020 top 14 grocery retailers in America 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

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