Malena Produce Inc., Nogales, Ariz., has begun offering year-round eggplant supplies as well as increased colored pepper production.
The production increases were prompted by changing American diets and growing demand for “stoplight” pepper packs, according to a news release.
Malena Produce expanded eggplant production in the Mexican state of Nayarit, extending the typical winter season from Culiacan through summer.
Citing recent eggplant market research, the company also launched an educational program to help retailers develop the category.
“Our goal is not to push more supply into the system, but to help educate receivers on optimum eggplant assortment, handling and merchandising,” vice president Gonzalo Avila said in the release.
The program also will include promotional support to pull in consumers.
The research, which analyzed a three-year eggplant consumption trend, identified key demographics. It also spotlighted nutritional trends, such as Meatless Monday, ease of preparation and gluten-free, that contribute to eggplant’s growing popularity.
In addition to eggplant, the company also increased colored pepper production by 25% due to growth of stoplight — red, green and yellow — and custom sleeve packaging, according to the release.
Malena Produce offers six bell pepper stock-keeping units through McAllen, Texas, and Nogales.