H-E-B has begun major pricing and healthy shopper campaigns that it said will help customers realize more savings and improve their health in the new year.

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H-E-B kicks off pricing, healthy food campaigns

January 18th, 2012

SAN ANTONIO – H-E-B has begun major pricing and healthy shopper campaigns that it said will help customers realize more savings and improve their health in the new year.

The Texas supermarket chain on Wednesday unveiled the "Compare Our Prices to Anyone" initiative, which the retailer said "invests millions of dollars in lowering thousands of prices and offering more savings for customers in 2012," and launched "Healthy at H-E-B," a long-term commitment to improve customers' health and provide fresh, healthy food that's affordable and easy to prepare.

Through the pricing campaign, H-E-B plans to introduce a range of savings opportunities to give shoppers extra value for their money, along with resources to make healthy choices for their families. The grocery chain said that bold, new signage and visible banners will immediately alert customers entering the store that the Compare Our Prices to Anyone campaign is under way.

Starting Jan. 18, customers will see prices lowered on many H-E-B brand and national-brand products throughout the store on items that families use most, according to the retailer. Shoppers also will be able to get savings throughout the year with coupons, weekly ad specials, "Meal Deals," "Combo Locos" and My H-E-B Rx Rewards.

"We recognize that times are still tough for many of our customers. Making their food dollar stretch is a top priority. This investment in lower prices ensures Texas residents continue enjoying some of the lowest food prices in the nation," H-E-B president and chief operating officer Craig Boyan said in a statement.

"Our commitment to everyday low prices is something H-E-B customers have always been able to count on, but in 2012 they will also see renewed energy around making healthy eating more affordable," Boyan added.

To that end, the Healthy at H-E-B initiative will serve up special offers on healthy food, fitness groups, events and competitions organized around what the retailer termed as "the three critical pillars of health: food, body and life."

H-E-B said it's investing an estimated $20 million in lower prices on fresh produce. In addition, the chain is offering its new Healthy Savings meal solutions, which are packages of fresh ingredients with recipes for preparing a healthy meal for four for less than $10 after a $4 coupon.

"We are facing a health crisis in Texas," Boyan stated. "Last June, Texas was listed as the 13th most obese state in the nation. An estimated 64% of the total population and one in five Texas kids are now considered overweight or obese. Given our position as the leading food retailer in the state, we have a unique opportunity to help those who want to make a change for themselves and their families."

H-E-B will also challenge customers to get fit with contests such as Slim Down Showdown, in which 25 contestants from around the state compete for a $10,000 grand prize. And each month, H-E-B dietitians will select recommended items that follow government guidelines for reduced sugar, fat and sodium content and provide recipes and demonstrations with the featured products in seven pilot stores in San Antonio, Austin and Waco.

Starting in March, H-E-B will launch an eight-week challenge to encourage customers to cook and eat from home at least one additional night per week and to try at least one new recipe and one new fruit or vegetable each week. Participants will be asked to track their progress online for a chance to earn some incentives and prizes. Customers, too, will be asked to submit their favorite unhealthy recipe to be modified by H-E-B dietitians. The Top 100 will be published this fall in a Healthy at H-E-B cookbook.

On the exercise front, H-E-B is calling on customers to move their bodies at least 150 minutes every week and urging them to establish training teams in their communities to help prepare for fitness events sponsored by the company such as 5K runs, marathons and triathlons. And beginning in September, H-E-B will launch another eight-week challenge focused on healthy activities such as walking, running, swimming, and playing sports. To allow participants to connect, compete and monitor their progress, H-E-B will introduce a series of trackers and tools available on heb.com as well as most smartphones.

The chain's pharmacy locations also are stepping up their "second Saturday" health screenings. On the second Saturday of each month, H-E-B typically holds free health screenings at all stores with a pharmacy for customers to "learn their numbers," including cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and waist circumference. Customers also learn how these numbers can affect their overall health and well-being. With Healthy at H-E-B, the second Saturday events will now run year-round, with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each month, and feature healthy product sampling, cooking demos in Showtime stations and Cooking Connections, fitness demonstrations by local organizations and activities for children.

In October, H-E-B also will host a Family Expo & Fun Run featuring cooking demos, product sampling, pharmacy screenings and the grand finale of the Slim Down Showdown, in which the winners will be announced. Customers can apply online at heb.com and all applications are due Feb. 29.

Finally, H-E-B has created a "Healthy Handbook" in cooperation with Cooper Aerobics that's filled with detailed information on proper nutrition, physical activity and overall wellness. Starting this month, much of this content became available to customers online at heb.com/healthy.

Overall, H-E-B operates more than 335 stores in Texas and Mexico.