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

Summer is officially here and there's no better way to cool off than with a cold, thirst-quenching beverage. While there are many alternatives out there to choose from, seltzer or sparkling water is a go-to for many people during the warmer months and has significantly grown in popularity over the last decade in the United States (via Statistica).

Now, with the latest options of added juice, sweeteners, caffeine, and calorie-less flavors, there are many varieties on the market so how do you know which one to purchase for your next barbecue?

Luckily for residents in Texas and those along the Mexico border, local yet competitive grocer, H-E-B offers a slew of sparkling water varieties that, when you consider the flavor options and low cost, look like a great choice for those willing to give carbonated water a try.

H-E-B is known for its Texas state pride and vast inventory, offering locals all the groceries they could ever want. Given the hype around the popular corporation and its reputation for sincere customer loyalty and competitive inventory, its sparkling water and seltzer varieties prove to be a money-saving (and tasty) option for locals and H-E-B fans alike.

(Note: While there is a true difference between seltzer and sparkling water, in this article the terms will be used interchangeably as H-E-B does when referring to carbonated water.)

Varieties of H-E-B seltzer

Luckily for locals, H-E-B has a plethora of options when it comes to the seltzer they have available in store. While they always have the standard unflavored seltzer water liters in stock, H-E-B also carries a competitive assortment of flavored and unflavored varieties, some with unexpected additions. Beyond the typical unflavored liters and 12-pack cases of cans, H-E-B also offers unsweetened flavored waters in the same sizes with flavors such as lime, orange, and cherry.

An item you may not always see at your local Wal-Mart or Kroger that H-E-B carries is sweetened flavored sparkling water. With flavors like strawberry, white grape, and peach, they also come in liter and 12-pack can options.

The two most unexpected H-E-B seltzer products might be the Sparkling Water with added caffeine varieties and the H-E-B Organics sparkling beverages which are made of carbonated water with a small amount of added juice and sugar. The sparkling water with added caffeine is locally produced in Texas and comes in 8-pack 12 oz cans. What stands out among the organic added juice beverage is the unique southern flavors like prickly pear and lemon strawberry. This variety comes in an 8-pack of 11.2 oz cans.

Lastly is the trending H-E-B 1877 mineral water that is uniquely bottled at its source in Mineral Wells, Texas. With all the dynamic options available at H-E-B, there seems to be a product for everyone when it comes to carbonated water.

How much does H-E-B seltzer cost?

According to the H-E-B website, its carbonated water products range from $0.68-$0.99 for a single liter or 12 oz. bottle and $3.56-$5.62 for eight or 12 count cases. When it comes to single bottles, the cheapest option is the sweetened flavored liters priced at $0.68 per bottle and the most expensive is H-E-B's 1877 mineral water costing $0.99 for one 12 oz. glass bottle. Sparkling water and mineral water are different for a few reasons, which would account for the price difference. 

When considering the cost of cases, the cheapest is the sweetened flavored 12-pack variety costing $3.56 per case, and the most costly is the organic sparkling beverage with added juice coming in at $5.62 per pack. Unfortunately, you cannot buy 1877 mineral water by the case. The standard H-E-B unsweetened flavored 12-pack of cans falls on the lower end of the spectrum at $3.77 per case, making it an affordable everyday option.

After reading the price breakdown, it seems the H-E-B seltzer prices compare similarly with other brands. And with so many options, you can customize your purchases to your needs. If you have a busy week, you can choose the added caffeine option and if you're having a pool party with kids you can try the organic beverage assortment with added juice.

What do H-E-B sparkling water varieties taste like?

Aside from price, another important element in your choice of seltzer is taste. Sure, the cost of the H-E-B sparkling water selection may fit into your budget, but it won't matter much if you dislike the flavor. If H-E-B cakes are any indication of how its bubbly beverages taste, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Most H-E-B customers have nothing but positive things to say regarding the brand's carbonated water varieties. One user posted in the r/HEB community praising the chain's unsweetened coconut option stating "I've tried many kinds and been a Waterloo fan for some years, but the flavor of the H-E-B brand is honestly on par for cheaper." One Redditor claimed the orange and lime varieties helped her lose weight while another user who works at the H-E-B warehouse was happy to hear people loved the product since it's "always moving in high quantities from the warehouse" due to popularity.

Apart from the flavored varieties, H-E-B's locally sourced 1877 mineral water was labeled similar or even better in taste than name brand Topo Chico in 2020 but comes with a more welcoming price tag (via San Antonio Express-News).

With comparisons to major name brands like Topo Chico and Waterloo, H-E-B brand carbonated water has similar, if not better reviews when you consider both taste and cost savings.

Nutritional information for H-E-B carbonated products

Nutrition is another factor that is important to some shoppers when choosing a beverage. You can find all the fine print details of each item on the H-E-B website, but there are a few things regarding its seltzer's nutrition worth mentioning.

Your most expensive option of H-E-B's Organics Sparkling beverages contains real organic juice from concentrate and has only 40 calories per can. For the most affordable option, the Sweetened Sparkling Water varieties, have zero calories but do have some additives like citric acid and sucralose among other ingredients. The only ingredients in the flavored unsweetened assortment are carbonated water and natural flavors, making it another zero-calorie option.

The carbonated water with added caffeine is produced locally in Texas and has zero calories or sugar, containing 55 mg of caffeine from coffee beans in each can.

When considering the highly ranked 1877 mineral water, this product is extra noteworthy since the naturally occurring minerals come from a well that was originally tapped in 1877, located in Mineral Wells, Texas. H-E-B does add additional carbonation to give it an extra zing. There are some added health benefits to drinking mineral water as well, like improving digestion and better heart health.

Most of the carbonated water varieties H-E-B offers are clean assortments with low or zero-calorie counts which is another reason to give these H-E-B products a try.

What else is there to know?

If you're considering sparkling or seltzer water, it's safe to say you're now equipped with the knowledge to help you choose a carbonated product from H-E-B. Whether you're choosing sparkling water to have a refreshing drink readily available in your home or specifically choosing mineral water (such as 1877) for your health, both carbonated water options are quite tasty according to H-E-B fans, and come to you at a good price. 

H-E-B, the grocer available in only Southern Texas and the Texas/Mexico border area, is a mega-corporation dedicated to the communities they serve. The popular grocer even surpassed Aldi when compared to 56 other grocers when ranked not only on sales but also on the level of customer connection (per Business Insider). Texans believe in the brand and when it comes to state pride, they "wear their state pride like a badge of honor (per Texas Proud).

So if you find yourself in Texas and you're craving a bubbly beverage, stop in at your nearest H-E-B and give one of these carbonated drinks a try.