Baloian Farms is partnering with Guadalajara, Mexico-based Cueto Produce on a hothouse program that will expand bell pepper production for the Fresno, Calif.-based grower-shipper.

Red, yellow and orange bell peppers will be offered in a variety of pack styles. Bulk product will be available in the Biomasur label. All consumer packs will have Baloian’s Pam Pak brand, according to a news release.

The Mexican program starts this month and is expected to run through May. Baloian Farms already had a year-round program; expansion will increase loading options.

“Consumers are telling us with their purchase behavior that bell peppers are an important part of their shopping basket and we want to make sure that our retailers have plenty of SKUs to populate their category and give their consumers a choice,” Jeremy Lane, sales manager, said in the release.

Fresh Trends 2012 research show purchases for bell peppers up nearly 3% since 2011. That pegged them as one of the top vegetable items consumers are buying more of than before, a category in which peppers still trail asparagus and avocados.

Baloian Farms also has a baby bell specialty program featuring BellaFinas; and a value-oriented offering of randomly shaped peppers, Oddbells.