Francisco Morales and Stuart Cox of Sakata

The UK snack pepper market will continue to grow until it becomes a commodity snacking product, according to one breeder.

Sakata is developing its snack pepper breeding programme to create red, orange and yellow varieties with the right Brix level and flavour profile, tapping into the snack and lunchbox market.

Product manager Francisco Morales said: “In some years time, I think the snack pepper will become a commodity, like the cherry tomato.

“It’s not a new market, but we can add value to the business by increasing the sugar content and extending the shelf-life,” he said. “Snack peppers are new to our breeding programme, but results are promising. Consumption is increasing in this market, and in particular among kids.”

Morales was speaking at Fruit Logistica, where Sakata is exhibiting and showcasing other products, including the Black Bullet jalapeno-type pepper.

“The most striking part is the colour,” said Morales, “It’s a very hot pepper, with no cracking and a dark colour.”

The Black Bullet is working well in the Dutch market using Spanish-grown product, said Sakata’s Stuart Cox, who said there is no reason why that success cannot be replicated in the UK.