Updated: May 15
HEB has a long-standing commitment to supporting local businesses and boosting Texas's economy. One way it does this is through its Quest for Texas Best competition, an annual event that seeks out and celebrates the best Texas-made products.
What is HEB's Quest for Texas Best?
Launched in 2014, Quest for Texas Best is an annual competition that invites small food and beverage businesses in Texas to showcase their products for a chance to be sold at HEB stores throughout the state. The competition is open to any Texas-based food and beverage business that has a product that is market-ready and can be produced at scale. There are other eligibility requirements that can be found here.
The competition involves a rigorous selection process, including an online application, in-person pitch sessions, and a final judging event. The winning products are awarded cash prizes, featured in HEB stores, and given marketing and branding support to help them grow their businesses.
Why is Quest for Texas Best Important?
Quest for Texas Best is important because it supports small businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them grow and succeed. By providing exposure and a distribution platform, HEB is helping these businesses access new customers and expand their reach.
Additionally, by promoting Texas-made products, Quest for Texas Best helps to boost the local economy. When shoppers choose products made in Texas, they are supporting local farmers, producers, and manufacturers, which in turn helps to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
Quest for Texas Best also promotes innovation and creativity in the food and beverage industry. By encouraging new products and flavors, HEB is helping to keep Texas on the cutting edge of food trends and culinary innovation.
2022 Grand Prize Winner
I Love Chamoy!
Chamoy is beloved by Texans, but it also has a lot of sugar. Annie, the founder of I Love Chamoy grew up in Mexico. When her dad was diagnosed with diabetes and had to give up the sauce he so loved, she decided to create a version that he could still have and enjoy. And we're just glad she also decided to share it with the world.
All 2022 Finalists:
First place: Love & Cookies Cookie Dough
Second place: ZWITA, Spicy Traditional Harissa
Third place: Smokey John’s BBQ Rub
Third place: Four Sixes Ranch
2021 Grand Prize Winner
Savor Pâtisserie - French Macarons
Savor Patisserie is a bakery with several locations in the DFW area. In 2021 they won Quest for Texas Best and as a result, you can now find these delectable treats in the freezer section at HEB with the other frozen desserts.
What's cool about this brand is its unique flavors. The Texas Collection includes Texas sheet cake and mango chili, and The Unicorn Collection offers blueberry cheesecake, animal cookie, and pink champagne.
All 2021 Finalists:
First place: 2F Akaushi Beef
Second place: Bhoomi, Enhanced Sugar Cane Water
Third place: Howdy Homemade Ice Cream
2019 Grand Prize Winner
Diablo Verde Sauce
Diablo Verde is a product of 3SonsFoods, which is a family business out of Katy, TX. It all started when one of the three sons wanted to raise money to save Rhinos. From there, the family began selling Diablo Verde sauce and donating part of the proceeds to Rhino Conservation efforts. They now also donate proceeds to wolf conservation if you purchase a jar of their Diablo Vegan sauce.
All 2019 Finalists:
First place: Uncle Ray’s Peanut Brittle
Second place: EVOKE, Collagen Drink
Third place: To the Moon Family Foods, Nutty-Carrot Spread
2018 Grand Prize Winner
Mmmpanadas is a food truck out of Austin created by a husband and wife team. In 2018 they won the Grand Prize in HEB's Quest For Texas Best and you can now purchase 5 of their empanada flavors in the HEB freezer section. My favorite is the spinach and mushroom!
All 2018 Finalists:
First place: Chef Rey’s Cheesecakes
Second place: Bellefontaine Ice Cream
Third place: Pennymade biscuits
2017 Grand Prize Winner
Skull & Cakebones
Skull & Cakebones desserts are unique because they are made without any animal products, and use locally sourced ingredients. Up until December 2022, you could visit their Dripping Springs bakery, but it seems as though it recently closed. I've had a hard time verifying if you can still find their cupcakes in HEB stores, however, several stores in Austin are still showing them in the app.
All 2017 Finalists:
First place: The Texas Pecan Cake Shop
Second place: WarPIG BBQ
Third place: Tamale Addiction
2016 Grand Prize Winner
The Texas Pie Company Original Pie Dough Puck
Texas Pie Company is a beloved bakery in Kyle, Texas that has been around since 1991. In 2016 they won HEB's competition with their dough puck, which is now sold in the frozen dessert section at certain stores.
I recently posted this dough puck on my Instagram and had a lot of questions about what it is. The Pie Dough puck is simply frozen pie dough that you can roll out to make the perfect pie, empanada, quiche, pot pie... whatever your heart desires.
All 2016 Finalists:
First place: KITCHUN's Holy‑Coco‑Cacao! No‑Grain‑Ola
First Place: Bagel Dots
Second place: The Culinary Cowgirls
Third Place: Humble House Foods
2015 Grand Prize Winner
This tasty gelato is handcrafted in Austin with techniques the founder learned in Italy. The founder's name is Matthew, or Matteo in Italian. Teo became his nickname and the perfect brand name for his award-winning product. Flavors include Texican Vanilla, Texas Pecan Sundae, and Caramel Cookies & Cream.
All 2015 Finalists:
First place: Slaton Bakery’s Homemade Vanilla Wafers
Second place: Blackbird Foods
Third place: Blackbird Bakery
2014 Grand Prize Winner
Frio Farms Vanilla Extracts
Frio Farm is a small, family farm nestled along the Frio River in the particularly tiny town of Concan, Texas. Their vanilla extracts took home the Grand Prize and it seems like a whiskey vanilla extract was once sold at HEB, but I can't find any evidence that they are still being sold in stores.
In fact, I'm not sure if any of the winners from this year's competition are still sold at HEB.
All 2014 Finalists:
First place: MaxFrut
Second place: Habibi Gourmet Dip-It
Third place: Vela Farms