Hortofrutícola Costa de Almería is to expand its QDelicias range of prepared vegetables following the completion last year of an automated fresh line at its facility in El Ejido.
The company launched the line of roasted peppers four years ago as a high value added addition to its fresh vegetable line designed to improve returns for its producers. The peppers are available whole and sliced in three different colours in a number of formats for the retail and foodservice industries.
“The product is completely free from preservatives - nothing is added except for a little citric acid to neutralise their ph balance,” said president Juan Enrique Vargas.
The most recent addition to the range is a mix of roasted peppers and onions and Vargas said several more products are in the pipeline.
The company’s deputy financial director, Noelia Medialdea, oversees the range’s development. “Our biggest foodservice customer is UK fast food chain Pret A Manger but we also ship to France and Belgium and supply the Dia supermarket chain in Spain,” she told Fruitnet.
The peppers are preservative free and roasted using traditional methods before being packed and pasteurised, giving them a shelf-life of six months. “This means we can target more distant markets and we recently started exporting to the UAE and the US,” Medialdea said.
With over 1,000 growers and an annual turnover of €130m, Hortofrutícola Costa de Almería is one of the region’s leading suppliers of winter vegetables to the European market.