HEB vs Central Market | Which One Is Cheaper & Better For You?

HEB and Central Market are two of the more well-known grocery stores in the country. Both of them cater to a similar customer base, and sell hundreds of thousands of items per year. But if you are deciding between the two of them, which one is better?

To help you figure this out, I compared both of the stores based on three major decision-making factors:

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Variety

By the end of this article you should have a much better understanding as to which grocery store is right for you.

Which is Better: HEB or Central Market? Central Market is anywhere from 11% to 613% cheaper than HEB. However, Central Market does have higher quality products, according to the FDA. HEB offers a bit more product variety to their customers, carrying 2,000 more items on average in their stores. 

Is HEB More Expensive Than Central Market?

Price is one of the biggest decision-making factors when it comes to picking which grocery store is right for you. Most customers want to shop at the store that is going to give them the most savings. So, between HEB and Central Market, which one is cheaper?

To figure this out, I collected and averaged out the prices for the most commonly purchased store brand items. Below is each shop in category with the average price.

CategoryHEB BrandCentral Market Brand
Baking Goods$1.78$4.18
Canned Goods$1.01$1.12
Dry Goods$0.84$5.99
Frozen Foods$1.52
Personal Care$1.03

Clearly, HEB is significantly cheaper than Central Market. The only category where HEB is more expensive than Central Market is the dairy category. With this being said, HEB is only $0.17 more expensive than Central Market. So, for most cases, HEB is the much cheaper option.

To better illustrate the price discrepancy between both of the stores, I created the bar chart below. Note that for the frozen, personal care, and cleaner section, Central Market did not have their items listed, so they were left out of those categories.

As you can see, this further shows that HEB is a much better option for you to pick from if price is your main concern when going to the grocery store.

Product Quality: HEB vs Central Market

Product quality is yet another major consideration factor when it comes to customers picking which store they prefer. So, between HEB and Central Market, which one has higher quality products?

To figure this out, I took a look at the FDA’s product recall database. This database shows the most recent product recalls a store has had. So, the store that has less product recalls is more likely to have higher quality products.

CategoryHEB RecallsCentral Market Recalls
Animal & Veterinary00
Dietary Supplements00
Food and Beverages205
Medical Devices00
Radiation Emitting Products00

From the database, it shows that HEB has four times the amount of product recalls as Central Market. This means that the Central Market likely has higher quality products, thus giving them less product recalls.

So, if you are someone who prioritizes product quality, then Central Market is right for you.

Product Variety: HEB vs Central Market

product variety is yet another consideration factor that most customers think of. They want to make sure that the store they are visiting has enough options for them to pick from.

Total HEB ProductsTotal Central Market Products
17,000 products15,000 products

Both of these stores have a similar amount of total products however, HEB has around 2,000 more on average. So, you are likely to find a bit more product variety at HEB.