H-E-B’s annual search for new exclusive suppliers has officially kicked off — with a wider scope this year. H-E-B’s Quest for Texas Best is expanding beyond searching for the best foods and beverages in the state, and now is open to Texas-based makers of beauty items, toys, home goods, household necessities, garden suppliers, coolers, and other products, with submissions open through April 7.
Participants who qualify will compete for a combined $70,000 in cash prizes, as well as the opportunity to offer their products at H-E-B stores across Texas.
“Through Quest, we have the opportunity to connect with even more Texas-based innovators each year, which helps us further curate rich and robust offerings for customers,” said James Harris, director of diversity and inclusion and supplier diversity at H-E-B. “While we were unable to formally hold the competition in 2020, we still found a number of excellent companies. We look forward to expanding that list with the 2021 competition.”
With submissions open, H-E-B is offering potential contenders the opportunity to meet with its sourcing and supplier diversity leaders about product development and best practices for submissions via virtual information sessions slated for March 2, 10 and 11.
Since launching in 2014, H-E-B has reviewed more than 4,500 samples of Texas-made food and beverages, choosing more than 750 unique products for shelf placement and awarded nearly $1 million in prize money, marketing, supplemental support and mentoring. Some winners also go on to broaden their partnership with H-E-B. Recently, Grain4Grain, whose low-carb pancake and waffle mix was a third-place finisher in the 2019 Quest for Texas Best, recently launched an exclusive bread with the retailer.
Once the call for entries closes April 7, H-E-B’s business development managers will select the top 20 applications, who will present their products to H-E-B’s judges in August at the San Antonio Food Bank. The grand prize winner will take home $25,000, the “Texas Best” title and placement on H-E-B’s shelves. First place wins $20,000, second place wins $15,000 and third place wins $10,000.
In order to be eligible, products must not be available at any other large chain or retailer and vendors must be willing to sell exclusively to H-E-B. Texas-based suppliers also must create, produce or co-pack their products in Texas. To see full eligibility info, click here.