HM Clause, a company that breeds, produces and sells vegetable seeds recently showcased their new pepper varieties.
“We want to see the pepper shelf at the supermarket diversify, just as the tomato shelf has,” explained Jake Ware, Product Manager with HM Clause, who also coordinated the company’s Davis, California field days, an event that highlights the company’s advances in vegetable seed products. In this case, new serrano and jalapeño pepper varieties were on display.
The farmer’s field
“We are farmers serving farmers,” explained Ware, expounding that HM Clause is an international company and a business unit of Limagrain, an agricultural cooperative. It is in that spirit that they meet annually for their field days.
“It’s a way to gather everybody in one place, get people out in the field and elaborate on how these products fit into the overall market,” Ware said, adding that this event emphasizes the company motto of global reach, local touch.
The event attracted over 350 visitors.
Dante, a fresh market jalapeño pepper, is one of the products that was showcased. It’s characterized by its extra-large size, earliness, resistance to bacteria and ability for a continuous set.
Dante Jalapeño peppers
The company is also experimenting colors and flavors of traditional pepper types.
“Different colored jalapeños and serranos could be used in a multitude of ways to add flavor, color and spice to any dish. It's valuable to the grocers because they could be packaged together, instead of purchasing by the pound consumers would purchase a pack at a premium. The first time they will buy it because they like the colors, but the best part is the flavor and that’s what will keep them coming back for more,” he added. Ware explained that new colors are an opportunity to introduce the consumer to a new, better flavor.
Colored serrano peppers
“We have a stoplight jalapeño pack, where there is a red, yellow and green jalapeno packaged together,” said Ware. “We also have many colors in serrano, my favorite is the yellow. It’s not overbearingly hot and has a sweet flavor like a bell pepper.”
Demand for the colorful serrano is non-existent, as they have yet to hit the market, but Ware indicated that pepper usage in general seems to be on the rise.
“There’s a consistent demand, especially within the Latino population, as peppers have a close connection to their heritage, and are often used in cooking traditional dishes while wanting something new and different, there also seems to be an increasing demand for spice as well.”
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