Organic peppers popular
The organic category accounts for a plethora of peppers, grower-shippers say.
All of the bell peppers that Fullerton, Calif.-based JBJ Distributing Inc./Veg-Land Inc. sell are organically grown, said Dominic Etcheberria, general manager.
The company ships mostly large and extra-large peppers, because that’s what retailers request, he said.
Demand for sweet mini peppers also is strong.
In fact, JBJ has about the same acreage of organic sweet mini peppers as it does for organic bell peppers, he said.
All of the bell peppers that Nogales, Ariz.-based Wholesum Family Farms offers are organically grown in greenhouses, said Joanna Jaramillo, marketing coordinator.
Quality should be good this year.
“We have had favorable weather conditions and are looking forward to excellent quality bells that are crisp with a mild sweet flavor,” Jaramillo said.
Pure Hothouse Foods Inc., Leamington, Ontario, which markets the Pure Flavor brand, continues to experience growth with its U.S. Department of Agriculture Certified Organic sweet bell pepper program, said Chris Veillon, chief marketing officer.
The company provides bulk and custom pack options for red, orange, yellow and green peppers to meet retailer and foodservice requirements, Veillon said.
“We are actively increasing acreage year over year to meet the demand across all types and varieties,” he added.
“We see this segment continuing to grow based on the increased demand that we are seeing year over year.”
Between growing areas in Canada and Mexico, Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group has a year-round supply of organic red, yellow and orange sweet bell peppers, said Aaron Quon, executive category director, greenhouse.
“While organics represent less than 10% of our Canadian pepper volume, they comprise over 45% of our peppers grown in Mexico,” Quon said.
Talley Farms Inc., Arroyo Grande, Calif., has launched a new, 100-acre organic bell pepper program, said sales manager Derek Sass.
The company will market organic green and red bell peppers from mid-August through early November.
The program was launched in response to customer requests, he said.