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H-E-B's Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best contest has made one thing very clear: Texans are creative. This year's variety of flavorful entries ignited the judges' taste buds as they whittled more than 400 submissions from across the Lone Star State to arrive at 25 finalists.
Submissions for the Quest for Texas Best contest, which kicked off in January, poured in from 74 Texas towns, yielding a delicious mix of sauces, salsas, spices, sweets and spreads along with meats and mixes.
In two qualifying rounds, submissions were judged based on taste and flavor, customer appeal, value, uniqueness, market potential and differentiation from products already available at most H-E-B stores.
The winning items chosen by H-E-B managers as the 2015 Quest for Texas Best finalists include: Behrens' Pepper Salts, Blackbird Bakery, Blackbird Foods, Cessna's Sassy Salsa, Cowboy Up Chocolates, CRC BBQ Spice Rub, Franky's Cucina Italiano Gourmet Meat Sauce, Gilbert Pecan Company's Pecan Honey, Ham I Am! Hogwash, Hondo Sugarcane Juice, Hot Dang Grain Burgers, Hot Ruby Drink Mix, Jacqui's Jamaican Rum Cake, The Jank Sauce, La Casita Hot Sauce, Mis En Place's Sweet and Sassy Pickles, Misterfrench Gourmet Cookies, Monster PBJ Spreads, Natura Roti and Paratha, Slaton Bakery's Vanilla Wafers, Tavola Gourmet Dry Pasta, TEO Gelato, The Good Promise Chilled Juice Smoothies, Thompson Farms Goat Cheese and Tom & Bingo's Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q Sauce.
The contestants will face off at the Houston Food Bank Aug. 12-13, when a panel of expert judges will critique the products to vet their potential as retail suppliers. Through this process, they will examine each item for quality, marketability and readiness for production.
Quest for Texas Best $25K Prize Purse
Four winners will receive cash prizes and consideration for coveted space on H-E-B shelves.
The $25,000 grand prize carries an additional accolade: that winner will be named a "Texas Best" Primo Pick. A first-place winner will receive $20,000, with $15,000 awarded for second place and $10,000 for third place.
The Quest for Texas Best is a signature program of H-E-B Primo Picks, which invites customers to enjoy products that are unique, delicious and possibly new to their palates. Selections represent the best of what is in stores, such as H-E-B MooTopia, H-E-B Queso Poblano Chicken Sausage and H-E-B That Green Sauce.