Retailing Chili Peppers; Summer Increases Demand

When you bite into a chili pepper, you begin to sweat.

Okay, it might not happen with a Jalapeño any longer, because it’s one of the mildest peppers you can buy these days. But, anything from Habanero upwards is likely to make a difference in body temperature.

Chili peppers prompt a thermogenic reaction from the body. This is quite helpful when it comes to losing weight as the process converts food into heat energy before you can store it as fat. But, most people don’t realize – or, perhaps, care about that. They notice the sweat on their foreheads and leave it at that.

So, chili peppers make you warm. Logically, the best time to eat them would be… when it’s cold. Except, that’s not when the fast-food joints offer their hotter than hell specials; they wait until summer when it’s already blazing outside. Go figure.

This summer is already a little different than last summer, at least as far as the humble (or, rather, humbling) chili pepper is concerned. This year, we’ve got a determined Hillary campaigning for the presidency. And, as we all know, she loves her chili peppers – and people love talking about that for some reason.

The increased demand for chili peppers comes when a lot of peppers are in short supply. It’s not that we’re eating that much more; weather affected crops earlier this year, and those yellow banana peppers you see at Subway and In-N-Out just aren’t as widely available at the moment. In fact, those establishments are rationing their peppers.

But, we are eating a lot more chili peppers than last year – and certainly more than a decade ago. With that comes a lot more recognition for the chili peppers. According to the USDA, stores advertising specials for hot peppers have increased dramatically since last year – and let’s face it, you’re more likely to see hotter varieties of peppers in the aisles of grocery stores.

Fortunately, not all crops have suffered the way banana peppers have this year, which is why you don’t need to worry that you can’t get your hands on your favorite chilies. But that doesn’t mean there is an unlimited supply of chili peppers for sale this year.


More people are popping peppers into their mouths thanks to Hillary and hotter options are flying off the produce piles thanks to fast food offerings making the most of Ghost Peppers and more. And, fortunately, you’ll find peppers in the store all year long – even when the weather turns colder. It’s just that more people are turning to them this summer and retailers are making the most of this trend (fortunately without raising prices dramatically).

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