AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s no secret Texans carry a lot of pride for the Lone Star State. That pride has even transformed into loyalty for a few Texas businesses.
In a November interview with KXAN, Texas State Associate Professor of Marketing Rick Wilson said those businesses are able to tap into that pride and incorporate it into their products.
“Using the iconography, you know, the Texas State, the colors, the flag, and they really pull that into every aspect of their business,” Wilson said.
So we asked KXAN viewers which Texas brands they’re crazy about on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here’s a compilation of the top answers.
Blue Bell Ice Cream
The creamery started out as the Brenham Creamery Company in 1907 in Brenham, Texas, which is between Austin and Houston. At first, the company made butter from excess cream from local farmers.
A few years later, the company branched out to produce ice cream. The company officially became Blue Bell Creameries in 1930, and in 1958 the company cut out the production of butter and focused on solely ice cream.
“Blue Bell Icecream, it comes in different flavors and it’s Sooooooo Good. !!!!!” wrote one viewer on Facebook.
Everyone’s favorite grocery store started in 1905 in Kerrville, Texas, which is northwest of San Antonio. The huge chain began as a small family-owned store back then.
Today, the company has grown to over 420 stores and 145,000 employees, according to H-E-B’s website.
“I moved away and I miss my HEB. Above all else there is no replacement for HEB,” one viewer said on Facebook.
“HEB. I’ve lived in several different places outside TX, and the thing I always missed the most was HEB,” another viewer said.
One of the newer companies on the list, YETI Coolers was founded in 2006 by two brothers who love the outdoors. It’s based right here in Austin.
“I love me some Yeti,” wrote a viewer on Facebook.
This soft drink began in Waco, Texas, which is between Austin and Dallas. According to texashillcountry.com, the drink’s formula was created by R.H. Roark and Grover C. Thompson in 1937.
It was originally called Sun Tang Red Cream Soda. The name Big Red Soda didn’t come into play until 1969.
“Big Red & Blue Bell. Legendary products in Texas!” one viewer said on Facebook.
Lone Star beer
Lone Star beer came from Lone Star Brewery, which was built in 1884 in San Antonio. It was the first large mechanized brewery in Texas, according to the company’s website.
It was founded by Adolphus Busch along with a group of San Antonio businessmen.
“Lone Star and Shiner Bock,” one viewer commented, leading us to our next beer brand.
The Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, which is east of San Antonio, began brewing Shiner beer in 1909. It was founded by Kosmos Spoetzl, who was born in Bavaria.
Today, the brewery is shipping out over 6 million cases of its beer across the country.
The popular convenience store chain known for its bathrooms was founded by Arch “Beaver” Aplin, a Texas A&M graduate, and his business partner, Don Wasek.
According to a 2013 Texas Monthly article, the first store opened in 1982 in Lake Jackson, Texas, which is south of Houston near the coast.
The convenience store chain has branched out of Texas and across the south into Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.
“HEB and Buc-ee’s for sure,” wrote one commenter.
The soft drink started to be manufactured and sold in 1885 in Waco, Texas, coincidentally where soft drink competitor Big Red also got its start.
According to the Dr Pepper Museum website, Keurig Dr Pepper is the oldest major manufacturer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the country.
“I do drink a lot of Dr. Pepper,” one viewer said.
“HEB and Dr. Pepper! I go on a lot of road trips and always bring my own cause ya can’t always find it,” another viewer commented.
Siete Family Foods
As the name suggests, this company was started by the Garza family in Laredo, Texas, which is on the border.
President Veronica Garza was diagnosed with several health conditions, so the family of seven supported her by adopting a grain-free diet.
Now, the company offers grain-free tortillas, taco shells, tortilla chips and more to its customers.
“Siete Foods and Waterloo sparkling water!” one viewer wrote on Instagram.
Waterloo Sparkling Water
It’s hard to believe this sparkling water brand is only five years old. It was founded in Austin in 2017 and can be found in a wide variety of grocery stores.
“Waterloo sparkling water. Grape and black cherry, especially,” one viewer wrote.
Have Texans turned on Whataburger?
The first Whataburger was opened in 1950 in Corpus Christi by Harmon Dobson, with the first drive-thru being installed in 1971. Today, the company has over 800 locations across 14 states.
Whataburger was mentioned a lot in the social media discourse when we asked KXAN viewers about the fast food chain — but not all for good reasons.
While Whataburger has been considered quintessentially Texas in the past, many viewers were critical of Whataburger’s recent quality.
“Not whataburger anymore,” said one viewer.
“Looks like people are over the hype of whataburger… I personally never cared for it,” another viewer wrote.
Others also mentioned the sale of the fast food chain to a Chicago investment firm in 2019. The chain’s majority ownership went to BDT Capital Partners, according to a CNN article from that time, but the headquarters were slated to stay in San Antonio.
“First of all. Whataburger is owned now by people in Chicago, they’re no longer part of Texas,” a third viewer said.
“Whataburger is no longer a Texas brand sooooo they can go,” another person wrote on Instagram.
Whataburger leadership in 2019 released this statement about the sale.
“We’re excited about the partnership with BDT because they respect and admire the brand we’ve built,” Whataburger President/CEO Preston Atkinson said, in part. “They want to preserve it while they help us continue growing a sustainable, competitive business over a long period of time. They don’t plan to change our recipe for success.”
Some viewers did manage to keep the restaurant on their favorites list.
“Whataburger and Dr pepper is about it,” one viewer said.
“H‑E‑B and Whataburger!” another wrote.