H-E-B Turkey: What To Know Before You Buy

For a supermarket corporation, H-E-B stands out from the crowd: It's a company that is largely liked. The business is considered to be the second most popular grocer in America, according to ABC13, beating huge rivals such as Target, Costco, and Walmart. The only one it couldn't quite tackle was Amazon, but there's time yet.

Eater goes as far as to describe this popularity as "loyalty" from H-E-B's customers, which it believes stems from the company's supreme skill in capturing the spirit of Texas  — the state where H-E-B was founded in 1905 — within its business operation.

Perhaps the success of H-E-B — which is also demonstrated by its $34 billion annual sales and 420 stores across Texas and Mexico, according to the company's website — is assisted by its product choices. A search for turkey on the company's website brings back hundreds of results. In fact, H-E-B even has a history of giving away turkey at Thanksgiving, per ABC13. Evidently, turkey is an important product for H-E-B, but, to avoid the confusion of so much choice, let's take a look at how different H-E-B turkey options stack up in terms of nutrition, cost, and comparisons with other brands.

What turkey products are there?

H-E-B's range of turkey products is colossal, with the firm selling everything from frozen to fresh and from kids' snacks to full-sized birds. Whole turkeys from H-E-B's own brand weigh in at an average of 18.5 pounds but can be anywhere between 16 and 20 pounds, per H-E-B's website. If you're looking for something smaller with less preparation time, a 5.5-pound boneless turkey breast is also available.

Something more convenient comes in the form of already-prepared turkey, which includes the roasted, cajun style, and oak-smoked varieties that come sliced. Plenty of turkey-related meals are available for even greater ease, particularly for on-the-go snacks. The company's website notes sandwiches (such as one with turkey, cheese, and tomato), salads, and children's boxes among the time-saving selection.

H-E-B's website details further turkey products, such as a roasted breast that's served hot, ground turkey breast, mealtime accompaniments of turkey sausages and burgers, and organic ground turkey. H-E-B's huge turkey selection is, therefore, beyond dispute, but how nutritional are they?

Nutritional content

Although freshly farmed turkeys should, in theory, only contain their natural ingredients, manufacturing processes inevitably throw unexpected surprises into the mix. Positively, H-E-B's whole turkey is shown on the company's website to be free of hormones, stimulates, and antibiotics, as well as being reared cage-free at local farms within Texas. Meanwhile, the boneless breast contains expectedly high amounts of protein (21 grams per serving) but also 620 milligrams of sodium, which adds up to 27% of one's average daily allowance.

H-E-B's website confirms that there are few nutritional differences with its sliced turkey variations. A 2-ounce serving of the company's roasted turkey, for example, features 80 calories, 11 grams of protein, and 410 milligrams of salt. It is also said to be free from nitrates and nitrites, as well as MSG. The latter, which stands for monosodium glutamate, is considered by some to cause headaches and nausea, but the FDA deems it safe. You should generally think twice about eating processed meat, but H-E-B's may be the exception to the rule.

Pre-prepared meals pose bigger nutritional issues, however, with H-E-B's website showing one sandwich packed with 430 calories, 1,340 milligrams of sodium, and 13 grams of fat (20% of one's daily fat allowance). Children's meals and salads are similarly impactful. Elsewhere, ground turkey and organic turkey are relatively unremarkable, save for 160 calories per serving in the latter.


Cost is everything. It doesn't matter how amazing a product is; if it's unaffordable, no one is going to buy it — and that certainly includes turkeys. Understandably for the amount of meat involved, H-E-B's website notes that a whole frozen young turkey is more expensive than other related products, costing $35.89. Close by is the boneless turkey breast, which purchasing will make $25.32 fly from your bank account. For a single cooked turkey breast, expect to pay $10.28.

If finely chopped turkey is more your style, H-E-B's sliced turkey comes in at $10.29 a pound ($0.65 an ounce), while fine shavings of honey turkey breast cost $5.14 a pound ($0.35 per ounce). Ground turkey breast is priced at $4.11 per pound; a bag of turkey burgers is $8.23; and a five-pack of turkey sausages is $5.65. Moreover, pound of organic ground turkey paves the way for $6.17 of expenditure, according to H-E-B.

Considering the limited amounts of turkey actually on offer, H-E-B's lunchtime snacks are probably less financially enticing. Turkey combination sandwiches cost around $4.12, and salads are priced at $4.64, the same as a children's turkey meal that also features small amounts of cucumber, grapes, tiny pretzels, and dip.

Other turkey brands

H-E-B offers a range of turkey products from other brands, not just its own. H-E-B's website notes many turkey options from different businesses, including Butterball's frozen whole turkey ($19.05 for an average of 12 ½ pounds) and boneless breast (3 pounds for $9.26).

Oscar Mayer's sliced turkey costs $6.77 for a pound, or $0.43 an ounce. It's less expensive than H-E-B's but contains more salt. Butterball's turkey burgers are offered for $8.97 (around the same price as H-E-B's), while Oscar Mayer's turkey sausages cost $3.79 for 10 with fewer calories and less sodium.

A Boar's Head turkey salad costs $6.70, which is pricier than H-E-B's and contains more calories, fat, and sodium. However, the Boar's Head salad is almost twice the size of H-E-B's. A Boar's Head turkey sandwich, on the other hand, is smaller and more expensive than H-E-B's own brand, as well as contains more than double the amount of fat. Meanwhile, an Oscar Mayer's turkey Lunchables meal with cheese and crackers is priced at $1.87. This is cheaper than the turkey kid's meals provided by H-E-B but is also much smaller.

How to order

For people living in or near Texas or Mexico, traveling to an H-E-B store is a perfectly straightforward way of doing grocery shopping. With 420 supermarket locations to choose from, finding one shouldn't be all that difficult. That way, all the turkey treats you could ever need will be right in front of your eyes for you to deliberate over. Opening hours vary by location, but the majority operate between 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, according to H-E-B.

Of course, no 21st-century company would be able to achieve H-E-B's significant commercial status without online ordering, collection, and delivery facilities. According to H-E-B, the company's website or app can be used to make an account, before choosing a store to collect from or an address to deliver to, as well as a date and time (there are lots of free collection slots, but it seems that choosing a more immediate time incurs a fee). Delivery is only available for certain places, and charges vary depending on what is ordered and where it's being sent. Nevertheless, this grocery chain is affordable and beloved, so why not stop by and try some of H-E-B's sushi along the way?