The latest additions to the greenhouse pepper lineup offered year-round by Leamington, Ontario-based Pure Flavor include Craft House Collection-branded Aurora Long Sweet Peppers, Organic Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers, and Craft House Collection Shishito Peppers.

Chefs have told Pure Flavor they love the versatility and the homegrown, rustic look of the Aurora Long Sweets, said Chris Veillon, Pure Flavor’s chief marketing officer.

Pure Flavor is using social media influencers throughout North America to increase awareness for the new Shishitos.

“They’ve created great recipe- and lifestyle-focused content that we promote regularly throughout all of our social channels,” he said.

Sourcing from not only Canada but also from greenhouses in the United States and Mexico allows Pure Flavor to ship year-round, said

Pure Flavor has always prioritized taste when it comes to its peppers, Veillon said. The company’s Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers, for instance, are grown from the award-winning Tribelli seed, which received the International Taste Institute’s Superior Taste Award in 2019.

“Aurora Bites Mini Sweets continue to be one of our strongest items,” Veillon said. “They’re great for snacking or any type of grill application. Their bite-sized shape makes them a family favorite with young kids, but their versatility in the kitchen creates more opportunities for them other than just dipping them in hummus.”

The health attributes of peppers and their perceived value by consumers are the other factors driving major category growth, Veillon said.

“Consumers are looking for flavorful products that are not only healthy and affordable but are available year-round,” he said. “The greenhouse-grown value proposition helps us remove the potential seasonality of products to ensure consumers get their favorite greenhouse grown vegetables 12 months a year.”

One of the great selling points of peppers, Veillon said, is the wide variety of color and type.

“That can lead to fantastic versatility in the kitchen — snacking, dips, sides, main courses.”

Pure Flavor’s merchandising strategy is to keep its brand message consistent across all segments, which is highlighted by its packaging, Veillon said.

In addition, the company creates category management programs for its retail partners, which Veillon said ensures a consistent supply of fresh peppers and other vegetables.

And health-related marketing remains central to Pure Flavor’s pepper promotions. In 2020 the company launched its #LoveForFresh campaign to promote healthy active lifestyles.

Throughout the campaign, online consumer surveys were completed covering a wide range of topics, including specific themes like snacking. More than 5,000 people completed its snacking survey, which found that the most important factors in buying a snack are taste (90%), nutrition (61%), and price (51%).

The survey also revealed a key message for retailers looking to promote peppers and other healthful fare: placing snack sized items near like-minded products at retail showcases healthier alternatives to the sweet/salty aisle, especially if consumers are saying they are looking for convenience and snacks that taste great.

“The uniqueness of our products is not about the vast product assortment that we have but how incredibly versatile our items can be,” Veillon said. “If we share with our retail and foodservice partners how consumers can utilize these products, it helps breathe new enthusiasm in to the category and the department as a whole.”


Nature Fresh Farms rolls out new branding

Nature Fresh Farms, one of the largest independent greenhouse produce growers in North America, is sharing its new brand identity, which embraces the recent growth and innovation of the company.

The Leamington, Ontario-based operation specializing in peppers and other greenhouse vegetables (and, soon, strawberries), is launching its new look and feel by way of introducing retailers to the depth of greenhouse-grown produce and the benefits of supplying customers with quality, great tasting produce all year round, according to the company.

"We are constantly striving for perfection when it comes to not only the produce that that we grow, but for the process that it takes to get to the finished product," said John Ketler, vice president of Nature Fresh Farms. "This new look and feel encompasses the innovation and growth across every aspect of our farming operation to give customers a look at how far we've come and the steps it takes to provide such a premium product."

Nature Fresh Farms' new branding comes in the wake of a variety of changes that have expanded the company's presence throughout North America. Increased distribution, the physical development of expanded facilities in Ohio, Mexico and Texas, retail partner growth, sustainability efforts and new product innovation all play a role in the success of Nature Fresh Farms as it is today.

"The rapid growth of Nature Fresh Farms over the past few years has helped us identify the need for a change that would reflect all of the best elements of our company. Our purpose, culture, people, products, innovation and of course, our story are what set us apart," said Matt Quiring, director of sales for Nature Fresh Farms. "We now have a refreshed look and message that brings consistency, boldness and a memorable experience for all of our partners and consumers. This is a really exciting time as Nature Fresh Farms positions ourselves for our next phase of growth."