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Excess hot peppers seen on US west coast
“We’re having an abundance of supply,” says Ely Trujillo with Superior Growers LLC of Las Vegas, Nev. who is currently loading its variety of peppers including Jalapenos, Serranos, Habaneros, Thai chillies and more out of Nogales, Ariz. “It’s unfortunate for some of the growers because the pricing hasn’t been the best. But supply wise it’s been healthy for us and we’ve been able to fill all of our orders. There have been slight gaps but nothing too serious.”
Jalapeno pepper from Super Growers
Trujillo attributes the healthy supply to a variety of reasons. “Too many people in Mexico planted a bit too much this year. Last year wasn’t that great of a year either so then usually people plant more the next season,” he says. And despite the fact that Florida wasn’t providing as much chillies this season, the market still found itself in excess— Trujillo pegs it at approximately 10 per cent more supply compared to last season.
Demand in the meantime is comparable to what’s seen last year. “Maybe it’s just a bit up—but I don’t see it going down,” says Trujillo, who distributes to the state of Washington, New York and a bit into the Midwest. “One pepper that continues to dominate is Jalapeno because usage is greater for them compared to other chillies.” That said, after Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent, there is a demand uptick for two kinds of peppers: Anaheim peppers and Pasilla “Usually the demand increases for them after Ash Wednesday because they stuff and bread them in Mexican recipes,” says Trujillo. “It’s an alternative to meat.”
Varietal pricing jump
And while pricing softened slightly compared to last year for hot peppers, these two varieties have also seen a price jump—as much as $3 higher.
Poblano peppers from Superior Growers
“But looking ahead, peppers are going to stay pretty much at the level that they’re at until probably the end of April, beginning of May until we start transitioning to California and a different part of Mexico,” says Trujillo. “For now, it’s steady as it goes.”
Superior Growers, LLC
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