“Retailers are always looking for uplift in rings, so bagged peppers ensure that there is perceived value on behalf of the consumer and that each ring offers the retailer maximum dollars,” Batt said.
“As well, bagged peppers offer longer shelf life and ultimately less shrink. Multi-colored three-count, six-count and 2-pound bags can add to instant uptick in rings at the checkout. BC Hot House 2-pound mixed peppers are ideal during the late summer and into the fall as the perfect value added offerings.”
Peppers remain largely a bulk item at retail, said Damon Barkdull, salesman with Gilroy, Calif.-based Uesugi Farms Inc.
“As far as bell peppers go in packaging, I don’t see anything more favorable. People like to touch the product,” he said. “There’s only so much overpackaging you can do.
“With chili peppers, you’re talking to Hispanic clienteles, and they most definitely won’t pay for overpackaging. If they can go to one store and buy jalapeños bulk, they’re always going to pick buying bulk. It’s the idea of saving money.”
There is a market for convenience, and that means packaging, said Ed Sullivan, chief marketing officer for Pero Family Farms Food Co. LLC, Delray Beach, Fla.
“I think the whole key to that is it has to be obviously convenient,” he said.
“Is it ready to use? Has it been washed? If it’s going to be a mix, is the mix the right combination that is popular with consumers?”
Immokalee-based Pacific Collier Fresh Co. doesn’t do any multi-color packs, although “they do make for a nice display,” said Jim Monteith, sales manager for the vegetable department.
“When you look at the stoplight packs, it’s a good pack for people to buy for fajitas,” he said. “That’s a good attraction.”
For green peppers, he said, bulk rules.
“It seems to be the way consumer wants them,” he said.
“Even when you go into places like the club stores, you see the colored bell peppers, red, yellow and orange, three-packs and stuff like that. But as far as green, you don’t see any three-pack green. You may see six to a bag, but I don’t think that’s really geared toward retail. I think it’s geared more toward small restaurants.”