Picking peppers for profit - The Packer

Picking peppers for profit

12/03/2012 04:04:00 PM
Thomas Burfield

County Market only has a small chili pepper display, Beard says. The store offers only jalapeno peppers plus an 8-ounce bag of miniature sweet green, yellow and red peppers.

Beard also includes some dried chili peppers in bags on a display rack that also includes about 40 kinds of spices.

You can sell more chili peppers if you give them plenty of display space and promote them with other Hispanic items, such as tomatillos, white onions, romas and cilantro, says Bobby Creel, director of business development for L&M Cos., Raleigh, N.C.

However, chili peppers are becoming much more mainstream.

“It’s not just a Hispanic item anymore,” he says.


Pepper round-up

Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., offers Scotch bonnets, one of the hottest chili peppers, says Mary Ostlund, director of marketing. They come in mixed colors — orange, yellow, green and red — and are used by some aficionados to create trademark salsas, dips, curries and guacamole. “They’re a nice way to spice up foods and make a dish that’s totally different,” Ostlund says. They’re available year-round in 8-pound boxes and in clamshell containers.

Del Campo Supreme Inc., Nogales, Ariz., will continue its elongated sweet red pepper program this winter, says Jim Cathey, general manager. The shade-house-grown peppers are especially popular “among chefs and ethnic groups looking for a pepper with some flavor to it,” Cathey says. The company also is experimenting with a small program of elongated sweet yellow peppers. Both deals will run from December into May.

Del Monte Fresh Produce, Coral, Gables, Fla., offers red, yellow, orange and hydroponic bell peppers in addition to green field grown peppers, says  Dionysios Christou, vice president of marketing. The company offers three-count bags containing three different colored peppers or three of the same colored peppers as well as a six-count bag containing three pairs of different colored peppers or six peppers of the same color.

L&M Cos., Raleigh, N.C., has increased its pepper volume, says Bobby Creel, director of business development. “We’ve made lot of improvements and upgrades to our packing lines and our cooling capacity,” he says. The company offers domestic green bell peppers, colored peppers from Mexico and several kinds of chili peppers year-round, including jalapenos, serranos, cubanelles and long hots.    

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