Shishito Peppers Grow as a Foodservice and Produce Trend
USA - In this ever-changing industry, keeping up with the key flavor trends that consumers are looking for on their menus and in their produce aisles is a must.
DMA Solutions recently released a list of top growing produce across all restaurants from Datassential’s MenuTrends Database that puts shishito peppers in the top five highest categories for growth.
Karen Caplan, CEO and President of Frieda’s, Inc., shared that shishito peppers are great for consumers because of how mild they are in temperature while still adding that pepper flavor.
“We have seen the popularity of shishito peppers growing exponentially in the last couple of years,” Karen tells me, saying that the boost is an intersection of the increase in popularity of both Asian foods and the growing popularity of peppers. “With shishito peppers, every one in ten are hot, so when you pan fry them they don’t scare the consumer.”
Maeve Webster, Senior Director for Datassential, also commented on the growing demand for peppers after writing about flavor trends in her guest post on DMA’s blog.
"Year-after-year, American patrons cannot get enough of peppers, whether those peppers are from Central or South America, Europe or Asia. As other peppers become overly familiar - like jalapeno - Americans begin to look for new pepper experiences ranging from sweet heat to quite the opposite - think ghost peppers," she tells me.
Shishito peppers are still very limited in their availability, Maeve said, but growth is significant. "Assuming sourcing can keep up with demand and menu innovation incorporates shishito peppers in both authentic and more mainstream applications, then I'd expect shishito pepper menuing to continue its growth trajectory.”
While Kale was still a strong first-place winner as far as produce influencing American foodservice trends, with a 74.8 percent annual growth from 2013 to 2014 and a 531.4 percent growth from 2010 to 2014, shishito peppers turned out an impressive 38.3 percent annual growth and a 432.9 percent boost from 2010 to 2014.
So while these little peppers may be mild on the Scoville scale, they are certainly increasingly hot in the foodservice market.
Keep checking in with AndNowUKnow for all the latest flavor and consumer trends in the produce industry.
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