Consumers embrace these flavorful peppers to add a punch to all kinds of foods. The likelihood of a specialty pepper purchase fell three percentage points from Fresh Trends 2012.

chili peppersAffluence and age play a part in specialty pepper purchases. The likelihood of a specialty pepper purchase (varieties like cayenne, poblano, jalapeno, anaheim and habanero) increased according to income for the sixth straight year. Older consumers have a harder time trying to stomach these spicy vegetables – for the fourth straight year shoppers age 59 and older were less likely to buy specialty peppers than younger shoppers.

Families with kids at home were more likely to buy the flavorful peppers, at 29%, than those without kids, at 20%. Shoppers in the Northeast, the region least likely to buy last year, comprised the region most likely to buy specialty peppers in Fresh Trends 2013.

Organic purchases of specialty peppers remained relatively steady. Six percent of specialty pepper buyers said they always bought organic peppers; one-quarter of buyers said they bought organic product at least some of the time.