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Sweet and spicy flavors have taken top billing among this year's slate of H-E-B Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best products, 25 of which have been named finalists by a panel of judges, chosen from nearly 60 submissions.
In two qualifying rounds, H-E-B business development managers critiqued products across 74 store categories – including beer, butter, muffins, sauces and teas – based upon taste and flavor, customer appeal, value, uniqueness, market potential, and differentiation from products already available at H-E-B stores.
The deciding round, which takes places today and tomorrow at the Houston Food Bank, will reveal the winner of the $25,000 grand prize and "Texas Best" Primo Pick honor. A first-place winner will receive $20,000, with $15,000 awarded for second place and $10,000 for third place. All winning products will be considered for placement on H-E-B store shelves in 2015.
Quest for Texas Best finalists are:
Armadillo Eggs, Briggs True, Crybabies Sweet-N-Sassy Jalapenos, Davis Mountains Nut Company, Deelicious Red Velvet Waffle Batter, Fianco a Fianco, Four Escobars, Frenchie's Fabulous Nut Company, Fresh. Salsa, Frio Farm Artisan Extract, Habibi Gourmet, Huerta's Texas Gumbo, The Jelly Queens, Jolly Jack's Hot Sauce, Kristy's Toffee 'N Treats, La Nueva Tortilleria, Marigold Bars, MaxFrut, Savannah Rose Punch, Sweet Heat Jam Company, Texas Hot Salt, Texas Toffee Queen, Vela Farms, and Walker Honey Farmand Yardbird Bloody Mary Mix.
San Antonio-based H-E-B operates more than 350 stores in Texas and Mexico.