After a public fall from grace following a listeria outbreak that left three people dead and 10 sick, Blue Bell is trying to win back public favor.
Videos and pictures showing Blue Bell trucks on the road have gone viral and now, Blue Bell is teasing its former fan base by making daily announcements about what flavors will be the first available. Today’s announcement: Homemade Vanilla.
This is the second year of an H-E-B competition designed to recognize the best food makers in the Lone Star State as well as find new products for the Texas chain’s grocery store shelves.
After an initial 400 entries from 74 Texas towns and two days of judging 25 finalists, H-E-B’s Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best contest named its 2015 winners.
Two Austin food makers won two of the top four prizes and took home a combined total of $35,000.
After driving to Houston with his ice cream scoopers on the back of his Vespa for the final round of the competition, Texas-born Matthew Lee of Austin gelateria Teo Gelato was named the grand prize winner Thursday.
The Teo Gelato gelateria, famous for it Peanut Butter Nutella and Texas Whiskey Peach flavors, has previously been honored by both the Gelato World Tour as well as the city of Austin, which designated Aug. 13 “Teo Gelato Day” in Austin in 2014.
In addition to consideration for shelf space on H-E-B ‘s store shelves across the state of Texas, the Austin gelateria took home a cash prize of $25,000.
Lee hopes that the prize will help speed up their expansion into Texas stores.
“My goal for us to grow as fast as we can and keep the quality up,” said Lee, whose gelato is currently in the frozen section at the Westlake H-E-B.
You can find the original gelateria at 1206 W 38th St.
HOPE Farmers Market, which according to the Daily Meal, has something “for every free-spirited hipster of Austin” ranked at number nine. The Daily Meal made specific note of the market’s offerings of music and “one-of-a-kind crafts” in addition to market produce and locally produced food. You can find Hope Farmers Market every Sunday in East Austin.
With four different year-round, weekly markets around Austin, Sustainable Food Center (SFC) slid into the number 16 spot on the list. The Daily Meal cited the markets’ wide variety of produce, products and people as the reason why. According to the SFC, they host over 100 vendors including local farms and artisans.
According to their article, the Daily Meal takes into account the quality, variety and affordability of products; what kind of recognition the market has in the community; the atmosphere and experience of the market; and of course, the friendliness of the vendors.
Yet a recent warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent to Kind’s headquarters called on the snack bar company to scale back its health claims, calling their bars “misbranded.”
FDA specifically called out the Almond and Apricot, Almond and Coconut, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate and Protein, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew and Antioxidant bars for their failure to meet FDA health and nutrition requirements.
What do you think, Austin? Will you stop buying them or accepting them as festival freebies? Was the FDA too harsh?