For the last five years, H-E-B has set out on a quest to find the best in Texas—the best local products made by Texans! From the Panhandle to the Rio Grande Valley, from West Texas to Beaumont, the H-E-B Primo Picks: “Quest for Texas Best” is an open call for locally-owned, small food and beverage suppliers to have their items considered for placement on H-E-B shelves and $25,000 in their pocket. Think of the competition, now in its sixth year, as a version of Shark Tank: small entrepreneurs hoping to bring their particular food products to a larger market. The excitement is just getting started as all 20 finalists have now been chosen.
What makes the Central Texas products so special?
When you think “Central Texas,” you probably think of Texas’ Capital, beautiful views and rolling scenery through the Hill Country, wild flowers, cattle, and we can’t forget the most live music than anywhere else in the world. What more could you want? This. These are the four Central Texas finalists for 2019’s Quest for Texas Best.
Bacon, Hatch and Traditional Brittle by Uncle Ray’s Peanut Brittle
Over the last 35 years, Uncle Ray’s has been perfecting candy and it’s apparent at first taste! Uncle Ray’s Peanut Brittle is famous for its perfect crunch and mouth-watering taste—so good, it’s borderline addictive. The bacon brittle combines nutty flavors with smoky heavenliness and the hatch brittle delivers a hit of spice at the end. A small amount goes towards a non-profit every year – a crunch for a cause!
“I feel like just ‘AHHHH!’ That’s how I feel! I’m really excited to be here. I just called my mom!” – Courtney
Whole Roasted Crickets by EXO
EXO works diligently to provide you with snack options that are both delicious and sustainable. It doesn’t get much better than crickets as a source of protein as these small packages are packed with B12. Airy, crunchy, and delicious, the seasoned Whole Roasted Crickets are great to eat because they are a gluten-free, nutrient-rich, and environmentally friendly alternative to the average unhealthy snack.
“This is really an honor. We’re based here in Austin so it’s home. To see our product on shelf at our local, it’s quite something.”– Mohammed
Smokey Denmark’s Beer Brats by Smokey Denmark’s Smoked Meats Company
Premium, quality sausage. No spray-on smoke. No collagen casings. No bologna. Not Now. Not Ever. This classic German fare has been redone with live oak, big bark beer.
“This is really exciting. It’s kind of a dream of ours, we’ve worked really hard in growing the company, so this is a great opportunity for us.”– Jonathan & Melissa
Caffeinated Bottled Water by Push Water Company
Sometimes you need a gentle push, not a shove. That’s the premise behind Push Water. Unlike sugary, highly-caffeinated energy drinks and shots that give you a jolt followed by a crash, Push works with your body to not only gently boost energy and focus, but to hydrate every cell with electrolytes. The best part about Push? No sweeteners. No preservatives. No flavors.
“We’re a part of the finals! We’re really excited and honored to be a part of this.”– Nate
All finalists will compete in a two-day competition in Houston August 7th and 8th. They will present their product to a panel of judges (that shark tank style we were referencing) and will be judged on taste, flavor, value, market potential and customer appeal. Keep checking back to see if these locally-owned suppliers in your neighborhood win the 2019 Quest for Texas Best.