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Why This Regional Chain Is Secretly the Best Grocery Store in America

Food & Wine magazine named this the best supermarket in the nation.

Most shoppers are beyond loyal to their local supermarkets, boasting almost an intimate relationship with their favorite grocery stores.  So when a magazine comes out with a "best of" list, and an underdog regional chain gets top billing, well, that's sure to elicit some mixed reactions.

According to Food & Wine magazine, the top-rated grocery store chain in America is … the H-E-B in San Antonio, Texas. (Record scratch)

The reasons behind this singular location's top rating, however, might surprise you. From the write-up, it seems that this specific location of the beloved regional chain was already strategizing how to deal with grocery shopping during a looming pandemic as early as mid-January! Texans were reportedly joking that H-E-B should run for president since they were prepped and ready to roll out their emergency plans by mid-March.

How did that manifest itself? Food & Wine explains:

From the roving band of mariachis enlisted by one store manager at the height of the panic buying phase, to a useful assistance program for customers trying to access federal stimulus funds, to the mid-crisis launch of an initiative selling prepared foods from top regional chefs like Chris Shepherd, the home of Here, Everything's Better, a store nearly everybody already liked, did the most possible to lock down Texans' undying affection.

Of course, the H-E-B love is not based solely on live music in the shopping aisles mid-pandemic. It also has a solid foundation that every grocery shopper loves: High-quality, store-brand products sold at affordable prices. This location also boasts in-store tortillerias, and what many believe to be an excellent curbside pickup program.

According to reports by MySanAntonio, H-E-B has also provided support to those in need by partnering with a local delivery service to launch a program that allows seniors to receive essential food supplies at their doorsteps. Plus, the chain released exact store location information if an employee tested positive for COVID-19, which is a level of transparency that shoppers greatly appreciate. Congrats to San Antonio-based H-E-B for developing trust with its customers during a trying time. And for more grocery shopping news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter.