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H-E-B beats out Trader Joe's, Amazon and Costco as top U.S. grocery retailer, new study says

In addition to H-E-B, two other regional grocers made an appearance in the top quartile: ShopRite and Publix.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The attached video is about H-E-B's plans to expand in South Austin.

Customer data science company dunnhumby has released its third annual Retailer Preference Index, a study that examines the $700 billion grocery industry.

The study named H-E-B as the top U.S. grocery retailer, dethroning Trader Joe's and beating out Amazon and Costco, the previous top three retailers.

For the study, dunnhumby looked at 60 grocery retailers across the U.S., including Food Lion, Albertsons, Aldi, Safeway, Target and Walmart. It also surveyed 7,500 consumers to understand how they think about the industry.

RELATED: New H-E-B in West Austin will have a barbecue restaurant

The study credits H-E-B's jump to the top to "sustained focus and excellence on assortment, relevance and private brand," which is consistent with its findings that some regional grocers are starting to be competitive with the leading non-traditional retailers.

In addition to H-E-B, two other regional grocers made an appearance in the top quartile: ShopRite and Publix.

RELATED: H-E-B to invest $200 million in South Austin, add 1,000 jobs

According to the study, the two most important customer needs remain price and quality for the third year in a row. The study also showed the majority of customers value price over quality until household income begins to exceed $200,000 annually.

WATCH: Meet the Austin woman making hundreds of H-E-B tortillas a day

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