Brits' demand for hotter chillies is causing a rise in production for exotics giant Barfoots of Botley.
The firm is celebrating a third successful season for its chilli farming operation in Senegal, which, in 2014 alone, has produced over 300 tonnes of chillies including Fresno, Jalapeno, Bird’s Eye, Finger, Scotch Bonnets and Jalokia – the infamous Scoville-Scale busting ‘Ghost Chilli’ otherwise known as the Naga.
The success of the Senegal project will result in a 50 per cent increase in production for the new season starting in December.
New varietal development has also been high on the agenda for European customers, with varietal exclusives such as Poblano, Shakira, Aji, Limo, Rocotto and Serano successfully passing through trials and now becoming available in commercial volumes.
James Meers, commercial manager of Barfoots, said: “Following this year’s success on NPD, we are expanding our production in Senegal with unique varieties from Latin America, which are being demanded by customers with a growing interest in the region’s cuisine, from Pan-Andean to Mexican dishes.
"These cuisines all require authentic ingredients to make recipes come alive. The fresh chilli category is really getting consumers excited."
Further sales growth is expected from retailers as their focus turns to retail opportunities for the upcoming football World Cup in Brazil.