This HEB fan account shows off the best of what’s in store
If George Strait is king in Texas, HEB must be his darling prince. Even when things are tense around the Lone Star State, there are a few things any native can bond over: Willie, Buc-ee’s, the utter embarrassment that is the state’s power grid and, of course, the Butt family’s beloved grocery store. Where elected officials failed in the historic winter freeze of 2021, HEB provided a place of refuge, even distributing free goods to several places suffering from their own power outages. After the Uvalde tragedy in May, the company donated $10 million help build another primary school. And that perpetual state of goodwill, along with incredible private label products, has created unprecedented allegiance in almost every area.
So, it stands to reason that a fearless sidekick (or, realistically, hundreds of fashionable men) would bow down to their altar and brag about their accomplishments high in the rafters, namely social media. But of Instagram’s fan accounts, none have the clout (nearly 32,000) or ability to make you want to drop whatever you’re doing and hit the store like Obsessed HEB.
Started by Emily Hill, 32, the account dips into parts of its HEB Plus location in Leander overlooked by any casual shopper. Citronella candles that smell like s’mores? House brand corn flakes coated in dulce de leche seasoning? Mango sushi with a buff scribble on top? If you missed them on your last grocery run, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Hill has a knack for spotting the new and the novel like no one else.
Since launching the account in 2019, the full-time marketing director (for brands like Rotten Tomatoes) has honed her skills in retail science. How long, you might ask, does she have to spend inside a HEB to support her growing audience? “Not as much as you might think,” she laughs. “I usually only go to the store once a week. Then I just split my shots, so it’s fair looks like I was still there.
Part of his enthusiasm for the brand is actually driven by deprivation. Originally from Weatherford, outside of Fort Worth, she remained without an HEB location for most of her life. It wasn’t until she moved to Austin four years ago that she finally got up and noticed what she was missing. Now his passion has extended to his creative outlet and a trained eye for capturing what others might casually ignore.
But as anyone online can attest: no good deed comes without its share of detractors. “My account has exploded recently, and now I’m getting a lot more constructive feedback about what kind of stuff I should post, or nutrition facts, or whatever,” she says. “Listen, I’m just a humble mom going to the grocery store with a thousand HEB pictures on her phone. It’s hard to please everyone.”
Here are, in his own words, six articles he is currently obsessed with:
“It’s a HEB label, made by the same farm (HMC Farms) that supplies them with Plumsicles, which are amazingly good. They’re tangy and juicy, with a deep red color inside. I have been obsessed with them for the past two years. Then HEB came out with this new line of plumcots, which are a bit sweeter than Plumsicles, but small and very vinous.
Field & Future’s Smooth & Sleek Lavender & Rose Shampoo
“HE-B’s new line of eco-friendly products includes everything from cleaning products to hair care to toilet paper. I really struggle with my hair and the shampoo is amazing especially for only $8 [for a 16 oz. bottle]. They also have a leave-in detangling spray that is better than many of the $30 alternatives on the market.
Limited Edition HEB Chip Series
“They release these three-flavor series on a quarterly basis. The biggest surprise was the Vanilla Milkshake wavy chips. They are sweet, savory and savory at the same time. It’s a bit like dipping your fries in a Wendy’s Frosty. The Mixed Berry Lemonade chips that are part of her “Carnival” series are too much for most people, but I love them too. It has that sharp citrus taste that resembles a salt and vinegar chip.
HEB Turtle Cheesecake
“It’s something I discovered this year, and it’s phenomenal. You can find it in the cake freezer near the bakery, where they also have huge ice cream stuffed cookie cakes. Normally with something like this you would get plain cheesecake with caramel on top. But what makes this cake special is that the cheesecake itself is a creamy caramel which is then topped with turtle elements.
Mi Tienda Beef Skirt Steak Fajitas
“It’s not super new, but I do it all the time. There are five or six different types of beef fajita options, but the marinade on this one is just perfect in my opinion. Not only is it a lot of food, but it turns out tender every time.
Gabrick Barbecue “Texas Tang” BBQ Sauce
“Not a thick sauce, but very tangy and unique,” she says of the brand that is one of her favorites. Texas monthlyBBQ editor Daniel Vaughn. Made with apple cider vinegar and chicken broth, it has a thinner consistency than other high-ketchup competitors. “[Gabrick] also comes with some really unique flavors like a Candy Jalapeno version. Try it on the wings.