Peppadew: The next big flavor, says Bell

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Flavor

Bell Flavors & Fragrances claims to have developed ‘the next big flavor’ with an exclusive license agreement for Peppadew, the sweet and spicy South African pepper.

Peppadew is marketed in the US by Strohmeyer & Arpe, and Bell’s agreement with the company means that it is the only flavor company able to use the Peppadew name. The pepper has an unusual combination of sweetness and spice and, although it is currently most commonly eaten as part of savory dishes, Bell is targeting sweet applications too.

Bell’s director of marketing Michael Natale told “Peppadew is a very interesting pepper...It’s very unlike anything you have tasted before. It’s about bringing sweet and spicy together.”

He said that this trend for combinations of sweetness and spice was started by the chocolate industry, and Bell is looking to include the Peppadew flavor in bakery, confectionery and ice creams, as well as beverages and savory applications like sauces.

“In Chicago, we have a lot of smaller gourmet chocolatiers. They have brought together a lot of different flavors,” ​he said. “…The chocolatiers that are in Chicago are well-known. Basically the way any trend emerges is through this edge, and then the mainstream starts to recognize it. Look at açai – who had heard of açai outside of Brazil before?”

Hispanic influence

He added that another major influence on the popularity of sweet and spicy combinations has been the growth of the Hispanic market in the US.

“Specifically, the Mexican market,”​ he said. “They are pairing a lot of sweet and savory, but particularly chili.”

But the development of the Peppadew flavor has not been without its challenges.

“One of the unique properties is that initially when you first taste it, there’s a beautiful sweet note and there’s a delayed reaction with the spice of five to seven seconds,” ​said Natale.

He said that the company relished the challenge, and that it has achieved this delayed spiciness with its new flavor.

“We are here to develop and try and taste and smell new things. We are always looking for that next thing. It’s what we do,”​ he said.

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