Treats and Trade Secrets from Grocery Store Giant

Published: March 22, 2013

Treats and Trade Secrets from Grocery Store Giant

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Ben Blanco’s Retail Management class ventured to H-E-B plus! on Saratoga Boulevard March 20 for a tour with an assortment of the store’s most knowledgeable department managers. H-E-B provided the students with insider information and palatable treats such as pizza, pineapple, brisket, ice cream, cake, and goodie bags. 

“You don’t have to be a rocket-scientist to run the company,” said Louis Whetstone, General Manager of H-E-B plus! “You just have to be dedicated to the business.”

With more than 500 employees and 30-plus managers, H-E-B plus! easily tackles their competition through means of product differentiation, in-store recipes and tasters, catering to the younger population, and one of H-E-B’s leading sales tactics,  product segmentation.

Students took a tour through the Fruit, Seafood, Cooking Connections, Cheese, Meat, Wine, and Bakery Departments. Each Department Manager thoroughly explained how their section of the store is run and how H-E-B gives them the freedom to develop and customize the presentation of products to better serve the customer.

“My job is to make sure all item are fresh, and taste good,” said Val Gonzales, Produce Manager. “Every day we make fresh orange juice for our customers to purchase. It is not pasteurized, so it only has a shelf life of one day.”

H-E-B also gives back to the community by donating any excess food that has reached the end of its shelf life to the homeless. 

“It was very interesting to learn where they get their suppliers, and how the company is managed,” said C.J. Garcia, a senior General Business major. “They also have really good pineapple!”