Four in 10 consumers polled by The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2020 consumer research study said they purchased bell peppers in the past 12 months.
That percentage of household penetration is just behind salad mix (41%) and just ahead of bulk lettuce (39%), according to Fresh Trends data.
Fresh Trends also reported that 19% of consumers said they are buying more bell peppers now than they did 20 years ago. That ranked it toward the top of commodities enjoying greater popularity over the past two decades, and not far behind top-ranked avocados (27%).
According to Fresh Trends 2020 research, the most likely buyers of bell peppers were higher-income older women living in the western U.S.
For households making more than $100,000 annually, 50% said they purchased bell peppers in the past 12 months.
That compares with 41% who indicated bell pepper purchases in households making $50,000-99,999, 39% of households making $25,000-49,999 and 34% of those households making less than $25,000 per year.
Forty-four percent of women said they purchased bell peppers in the past 12 months, compared with 36% for men, according to Fresh Trends.
Households with kids were somewhat less likely bell pepper consumers, according to Fresh Trends; 34% of households with kids purchased bell peppers in the past year, compared with 44% of households with no kids.
By regions, Fresh Trends reported consumers in the western U.S. were more likely to buy bell peppers compared with any other region.
For consumers in the West, 46% said they purchased bell peppers in the past year, followed by 44% of consumers in the Midwest, 39% of those in the South and 33% in the Northeast.
By age demographic, consumers over 50 years old were the strongest bell pepper consumers. Of consumers 50-58, 52% said they purchased bell peppers in the past year, followed by 48% of those over 59, 38% of those 40-49, and 30% of those 18-39.
At 43%, Caucasian/white consumers reported more frequent bell pepper purchases than any other ethnic groupo, according to Fresh Trends. That compared to 35% for Hispanics, 31% for Asians and 27% for African American/black consumers, according to Fresh Trends.
Fresh Trends reported 7% of shoppers who bought bell peppers reported that they had purchased organic bell peppers in the past year.
Age was a big factor in organic bell pepper purchases. Fresh Trends reported 15% of consumers 18-39 purchased organic bell peppers in the past year, compared with 8% of those 40-49, 4% of those 50-58 and only 1% of those 59 and older.
Fresh Trends reported 14% of all consumers said they purchased specialty peppers (includes cayenne, poblano, jalapeño, Anaheim, habanero) in the past year.
Older consumers were slightly more likely to purchase specialty peppers than younger consumers. Fresh Trends reported 15% of consumers 18-39 purchased specialty peppers, compared to 11% for those 40-49, 15% of those 50-58, and 13% of those 59 and older.
Of those consumers who purchased specialty peppers, 12% of those polled by Fresh Trends said they had purchased organic specialty peppers in the past year. Consumers 18-39 age were the biggest organic buyers, with 20% indicating organic purchases, compared with 17% of those 40-49, 7% of those 50-58, and just 2% of those 59 and older.