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H-E-B Names the 4 Best Texan-Made Products

Small businesses claim $70K in prize money and winning titles in 8th annual competition
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
H-E-B Names 4 the Best Texan-Made Products
Savor Pâtisserie was named the Grand Prize Winner in H-E-B's 2021 Quest for Texas Best competition for its French Macarons.

In its quest to support local brands, Texas-based H-E-B has named four winners in its eighth annual Quest for Texas Best competition. The winners of the 2021 event received a combined $70,000 in cash prizes and space on H-E-B store shelves statewide.  

This year’s H-E-B Quest for Texas Best competition expanded its search for the finest foods and beverages in the Lone Star State to also include non-food items. The company invited Texas-based purveyors of beauty items, toys, home goods, household necessities, gardening supplies, coolers and everything in between.

The 2021 Quest for Texas Best competition drew more than 1,200 product entries. Through two qualifying rounds, submissions were judged on taste and flavor, customer appeal, value, uniqueness, market potential and differentiation from current products at most H-E-B stores.

“Each year we are amazed by what Texans bring to this competition. Despite the disruption of COVID-19, these entrepreneurs demonstrated creativity, determination and perseverance in pursuit of growing their businesses,” said James Harris, director, diversity and inclusion, and supplier diversity, H-E-B. “H-E-B is thrilled to shine light on these four outstanding businesses and their Texan-made products that will add to the diversity of products on our shelves and to our roster of suppliers.” 

The 2021 Quest for Texas Best winners are:

Grand Prize Winner ($25,000)

Savor Pâtisserie –  French Macarons

Kelli Watts (Dallas)
Kelli Watts who is half French but born and raised in Texas, developed her own version of the French macaron, and founded Savor Pâtisserie in 2016. The under 100 calorie treats are larger than most, are naturally gluten free with select flavors dairy free. Flavors include vanilla, strawberry, lemon and pistachio along with specialties like s’mores, cookies ‘n cream and birthday cake.

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1st Place Winner ($20,000)

2F Akaushi Beef – Texas Wagyu Ground Beef

Felo and Stephanie Martinez (Santa Elena, Rio Grande Valley)
The Martinez family has been breeding and raising commercial cattle since 1984 on the family’s 1927 Rancho Santa Fe. Using certified Akaushi Wagyu genetics, the 2F Akaushi Ground Beef is a special 80/20 blend of chuck, rump and steak trimmings, is all natural, hormone free and contains no antibiotics. 2F Akaushi Beef offers premium Wagyu beef to restaurants and households.

H-E-B Names 4 the Best Texan-Made Products

2nd Place Winner ($15,000)

Bhoomi – Enhanced Sugar Cane Water

Arpit & Elora Bhopalkar (Austin)
Bhoomi is a line of rehydrating cold pressed cane elixirs blended with ancient Ayurvedic super botanicals for recovery, immunity and superfood properties. Certified paleo, low glycemic with packaging that reduces the carbon footprint by a substantial 89% compared to other traditional PET options, Bhoomi’s flavors include: ginger, turmeric and moringa.

H-E-B Names 4 the Best Texan-Made Products

3rd Place Winner ($10,000)

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream – Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Tom Landis & Coleman Jones (Dallas)
Howdy Homemade Ice Cream is renowned for its iconic Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip ice cream and its mission to change the way businesses hire people with special needs. With two locations in Dallas and with five more on the way, Howdy Homemade Ice Cream also works with numerous special needs organizations to hire, train and employ people with Down syndrome and autism.

Since launching the Quest for Texas Best contest in 2014, H-E-B has reviewed more than 4,500 samples of the most creative Texan-made food and beverages, deemed more than 750 unique products worthy of shelf placement, and awarded nearly $1 million in prize money, marketing, supplemental support and mentoring.

H-E-B has also been racking up recognition of late. Bond’s Loyalty Report 2021 named the food retailer among the nation’s top grocer for loyalty. H-E-B ranked highest among brick-and-mortar supermarket pharmacies in J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Pharmacy Study. And according to Wave 3 of global research firm Ipsos’ “E-Commerce Experience Report,” H-E-B ranked among the top grocers for the best e-commerce experience.

With approximately 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, San Antonio-based H-E-B is No. 13 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. 

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