Uesugi Farms expands retail line with value-added mini sweet peppers
Uesugi Farms brings their third value-added product, mini sweet peppers, to retail grocery stores in convenient, 1 lb. bags.
After noticing growing interest in mini sweet peppers, plus strong demand from customers, Uesugi Farms decided to add another pepper variety to their mix. Their production of mini sweet peppers started in Mexico a little less than a year ago and is currently happening in Gilroy, CA.
“We realized that mini sweets are a popular item in the pepper category gaining more and more momentum and attention from consumers. Since we specialize in peppers, we wanted to jump on this opportunity,” said Pete Aiello, General Manager at Uesugi Farms.
While mini sweet peppers are a new item for Uesugi Farms, this isn’t their first time releasing a value-added product. “Strawberries were first in 1 lb clamshells, followed by ghost peppers in half pint clamshells. Mini sweet peppers are the third value-added product we’re bringing to retail,” said Aiello.
Uesugi Farms has big plans to increase acreage and production of mini sweet peppers in the coming seasons, even though the current crop in Gilroy may be small. “The Gilroy acreage is basically a trial period for us to learn the ins and outs of mini sweets. We’re positive that with the experience we’ve gained growing and harvesting them, Uesugi will expand acreage and ramp up for year round supply in the future,” said Aiello.
Uesugi Farms’ branded and bagged mini sweet peppers stand out on grocery store shelves with their bright red, orange and yellow colors and sleek packaging design. As opposed to traditional bell peppers that are often chopped and added to dishes to enhance flavor, mini sweet peppers can be eaten as a standalone snack item, which makes them more versatile and convenient.
“With mini sweets, you can pop them right out of the bag, wash and snack away. They’re also labeled with weight and nutritional information, so there’s no guessing or hesitancy. You grab the bag, put it in your cart and have peace of mind. Aesthetics play a part too though, which is why it’s necessary to get creative with packaging design. Retailers like to showcase attractive products on their shelves and we like grabbing customers’ attention, so it’s a win-win,” said Aiello.
After harvesting in Gilroy, Uesugi Farms plans to move the production of mini sweet peppers down to Coachella Valley.