For nine years, H-E-B has been a star maker. Through its annual Quest for Texas Best competition, small companies have become literal household names, filling pantries across the state. Now, a new crop of products has the chance to be crowned as the high-stakes contest seeks entries for its 10th anniversary year.
The Quest for Texas Best is taking applications now through April 6. Small business owners and entrepreneurs across the state can submit their unique and innovative products to win a combined $70,000 in cash prizes and the opportunity to feature their products on H-E-B shelves.
Since the competition started almost a decade ago, H-E-B has discovered over 960 exceptional products across the Lone Star State. These have included various food and non-food items, including cookies, coffees, beauty items, toys, home goods, and even roasted crickets. The contest has awarded nearly $2 million in prize money and provided valuable marketing, mentoring, and supplemental support to its winners.
In 2022, a Lakeway-based cookie dough maker called Love and Cookies made Austin proud with a first-place prize. Other past finalists from the Austin area include GoodPop, Mmmpanadas, and Imperfekt Bites, among other Hill Country brands.
To be considered for the contest, interested suppliers and manufacturers can submit details about their products online between February 22 and April 6. After the Call for Entries period is complete, H-E-B's Business Development Managers will select the top applicants who will present their products before a panel of judges chosen by H-E-B on August 9 at Fair Park in Dallas.
The panel of judges will determine the top four winning products and award $25,000 to the Grand Prize winner, the title of "Texas Best," and placement on H-E-B store shelves. The first-place winner will receive $20,000, the second-place winner will receive $15,000, and the third-place winner will receive $10,000.
"As we continue to expand the opportunities for small businesses in Texas and diversify our supplier base through programs like Quest for Texas Best, we look forward to seeing what our fellow Texans bring to the judges' table during the 2023 competition," said James Harris, Sr. Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity for H-E-B, via a release.