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H-E-B has selected 25 finalists in its Quest for Texas Best contest, which tests hundreds of foods to determine the best ones made in the Lone Star State.
Selected by H-E-B business development managers, who served as judges in the contest in two qualifying rounds, this year’s finalists are:
- b pop! Flavored Popsicles
- Bagel Dots’ Bagel Dots
- Basil Ginger & Rosemary Hibiscus Teas
- Blank and Sons Beef Jerky
- Briggs True Spicy Bourbon Bacon BBQ Sauce
- Carrillo Mexican Foods’ Whole Wheat Tortilla
- with Spinach
- Dinner: IS Possible’s I Needa Pita Baked Chips
- Erva Teas’ Erva Yerba Mate Mint
- Frickles’ Flavored Pickles
- Humble House Foods’ Ancho & Morita-Smokey Tamarind Sauce
- Kalahari Inc.'s Assorted Rubs & Spices
- Kitchun's Holy-Coco-Cacao! No-Grain-Ola
- Lauren's Garden Bloody Mary Juice Mixers
- MuffinElse’s Paleo Muffins
- Patti's Place Chocolate Bourbon Pecan
- Pie Flavored Coffee
- Productos Doña Blanca Carne Seca Doña Blanca
- Reina Meals’ Flan & Rice Pudding
- Sabrosos Salsas’ Salsa Verde
- Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard’s The Original
- Olive Leaf Tea
- Southern Blends’ Uncle Phatty's Texas Original
- Texas Pickle Company’s Habanero Dill Pickles
- The Culinary Factory’s Lone Star Queso
- The Protein Cookie Company’s Protein Cookies
- The Texas Pie Company’s Original Pie Dough Puck
- Trentino Wholesaling’s Flavored Gelato Pops
- Zen Monkey Breakfast Bowl
Now in its third year, the contest saw 475 submissions from 101 Texas cities and towns. In two qualifying rounds, judges rated submissions based on taste and flavor, customer appeal, value, uniqueness, market potential and differentiation from products already available at most H-E-B stores.
During the deciding round, which will take place at the Houston Food Bank August 10-11, a panel of expert judges will critique the creators of the finalist products to vet their potential as retail suppliers. Through this process, they will examine each item for quality, marketability and readiness for production.
Four winners will receive cash prizes. The grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 and the designation of "Texas Best Primo Pick," while the first-, second- and third-place winners will receive $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively. Each winner will be granted placement on H-E-B shelves and be named an H-E-B "Primo Pick" product.
Through Primo Picks, H-E-B invites customers to enjoy products that are unique, delicious and possibly new to their palates. Selections represent best-in-store products and include previous contestants such as Four Escobars BBQ Sauces, The Jank Gourmet Barbecue Sauce and Armadillo Eggs from Western Grillers.
“Quest for Texas Best is a phenomenal opportunity for Texans to get their products on H-E-B store shelves, and for all to explore and enjoy locally sourced products,” stated James Harris, director, diversity and inclusion, and supplier diversity, H-E-B. “After all, Texas is home to smart, inventive food entrepreneurs, further advancing our national reputation as a foodie state.”
With sales of more than $23 billion, San Antonio-based H-E-B operates more than 370 stores in Texas and Mexico.