“Pepper sales continue to increase as more and more people are reaching beyond the traditional green bell after realizing that the red, yellow and orange bells are sweet and bursting with flavor,” he said.
It’s not just bell peppers enjoying a surge in popularity. Specialty pepper sales have steadily increased as well, with purchasing likelihood increasing nearly one-third from last year.
“The interest in hot peppers has really picked up,” said Damon Barkdull, sales and business development at Gilroy, Calif.-based Uesugi Farms Inc. “Every year, it seems there’s more interest than the previous year.
“(The market) used to be driven by Hispanic sales, but now with Food Network shows and more information out there, more and more people are trying hot peppers. Areas that wouldn’t normally try peppers, like the Midwest, are now trying them.”