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Prime Time International is the place for peppers

PMA Foodservice Show attendees will be picking “The Pepper People” when they stop by Prime Time International at Booth No. 514.

“We mostly specialize in sweet peppers, the Bell peppers and sweet mini peppers,” said Katy Johnson, marketing director at Coachella, CA-based Prime Time International Produce. “We do have some other varieties, but they are mostly seasonal.” In addition to peppers, Prime Time International will also be displaying asparagus and watermelons at its booth.

The 25-year-old company also grows tomatoes, sweet corn and green beans, but it is peppers on which it really hangs its hat. Prime Time has created an agricultural infrastructure to supply retailers and the foodservice channel with premium colored peppers 365 days a year.

Mini peppers euro box on white 193Sweet mini peppers have developed quite the following in foodservice as chefs become more creative with their recipes. The largest year-round grower, packer and shipper of multi-colored peppers in the United States, Prime Time International embraces technological advancements in production techniques by employing top agronomists to cultivate the perfect plants, produced in the best growing areas of Southern California and Mexico, utilizing GPS and drip irrigation and building state-of-the-art packaging facilities to ensure timely delivery.

“We find there is rapidly growing interest in peppers in the foodservice industry,” Johnson said. “Peppers offer vibrant colors, excellent sweet taste and have unlimited culinary uses. Peppers can be used in so many different ways — you can grill them, stuff them, sauté them, eat them cooked or raw. The uses are really unlimited.”

A visit to the booth will offer an education in packaging.

“Attendees will learn about the packaging styles that we do for foodservice,” Johnson said. “Our No. 5 box was designed specifically for foodservice customers. A typical distributor buys in bulk and then divides those large cartons into smaller units for individual restaurants and culinary customers. This box allows us to eliminate that extra layer of wasted labor and packaging, thus creating a more cost effective item for our customers.”

Prime Time International offers both hothouse and field grown peppers. Its crops include conventional peppers, along with a more limited supply of organic peppers produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.

Field peppers are grown in Bakersfield, Coachella, Oxnard and Chula Vista, CA, and Baja Culiacan and Jalisco, Mexico. In most instances, plastic mulch is used to cover the ground to aid in water conservation, weed control and to protect the fruits from direct soil exposure.

With the increased demand for consistent quality hothouse peppers, Prime Time decided to offer its customers an offering of red, yellow and orange peppers characterized with consistently superb quality, appearance, superior taste and thick walls. Prime Time produces its hothouse peppers in the California desert areas, as well as in Baja California, Sinaloa and Jalisco, Mexico.

By operating a Good Agricultural Practices program, Prime Time International provides retailers and foodservice customers a product that is natural, clean and safe. As one example, its practice of utilizing complex shed packing vs. traditional field packing was initiated to provide customers with the finest peppers available.

Sweet colored peppers, available every day of the year, are the cornerstone of Prime Time International’s farming and sales operations. Currently hot house tomatoes grown in Mexico compliment the product mix, as well as seasonal field grown products, including watermelon, sweet corn and green beans that are produced during the spring and fall in California’s Coachella Valley.

Prime Time International also partners on various projects with industry stalwarts like Anthony Vineyards and Ocean Mist.