A multi-page spread in Better Homes & Gardens magazine speaks to the growing popularity of chili peppers in the mainstream American diet.

Pepper use highlighted by popular magazineRobert Schueller, director of public relations for Los Angeles-based World Variety Produce Inc., is the focus of the article, found on pages 142-150 of the June 2012 edition. In the article, Schueller gives recipe ideas for poblanos, anaheim, jalapeño and serrano chiles.

Schueller said he had the assistance of World Variety chefs for the assignment.

For the past six years, Schueller has traveled to the magazine’s corporate headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, to help educate the staff on produce trends.

He said about 35 editorial and food staff — from 20 magazines also owned by the Meredith Corporation — attend the event each year.

The popularity of chili peppers has been a recurring theme in Schueller’s presentations, and the editors at Better Homes & Gardens were interested in Schueller’s assistance on a feature, he said.

“Any time you go into any produce department, you will find more than just jalapeños in the store,” he said.

Twenty years ago, jalapeños might have been the only chile stocked. Now, some Latin markets feature at least a dozen varieties of chili peppers.

When World Variety Produce was founded 30 years ago, Hispanic ingredients were part of the first line items offered.

“We have a product line today of over 1,000 different items, but still the Latin category are all strong sellers,” he said.

World Variety introduced the ghost chili pepper to the U.S. about three years ago. The Trinidad scorpion chili, regarded as the world’s hottest chili, was introduced to the U.S. last year, Schueller said.

In another magazine feature, The founders of World Variety Produce — Joe and Sharon Hernandez – were mentioned in a May 28 edition of a Sports Illustrated article about the Los Angeles sports scene. The article said World Variety supplies produce to 20 major arenas and noted the two are prominent fans of all the L.A. sports teams.