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San Antonio-based H-E-B named ‘Grocer of the Year’ for pandemic response by industry website

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COURTESY H-E-B
  • Courtesy H-E-B
H-E-B has been named 2020’s ‘Grocer of the Year’ by Grocery Dive, a industry news and trend website, which praised the company’s emergency preparedness at the onset of — and during — the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite asshole patrons who refuse to follow the company’s store-wide mask policies, H-E-B has been widely successful in implementing other pandemic-driven actions such as getting ahead of product purchasing limits, offering curbside and delivery grocery orders and limiting in-store traffic.

The chain also awarded bonuses to employees and instituted permanent wage increases for its team members just as other grocers were pumping the brakes on such perks.

The company embraced development of programs such as a dedicated delivery system for people aged 60 and older — the chain’s most vulnerable customers — using the delivery service Favor. H-E-B also partnered with chefs including San Antonio’s Jason Dady and Diana Barrios to provide elevated, heat-and-eat meal options through the chain's Meal Simple brand.

“Indeed, the 115-year-old grocer is well-known as a whip-smart operator and a customer favorite, having won just about every recognition and award under the sun,” Grocery Dive's award announcement reads. “And yet it still managed to outperform expectations during one of the most challenging periods the grocery industry has ever experienced.”

The distinction is part of Grocery Dive’s 2020 Dive Awards, which recognizes “companies and executives that stood out in a most uncommon year.”

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