The story of Fresh West

The sweet spot in the market

Freshwest, a family owned pepper business based in Glenbrook, New Zealand, has found its place in the market with the sweet pointed pepper, Sweet Palermo.

Freshwest, a family owned pepper business based in Glenbrook, New Zealand, has found its place in the market with the sweet pointed pepper, Sweet Palermo.

Freshwest, a family owned pepper business based in Glenbrook, New Zealand, has found its place in the market with the sweet pointed pepper, Sweet Palermo.

Quality, fresh, flavoursome peppers

Owners Gaven and Vanessa Naylor are self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ and over the past 13 years have trialled many different varieties of peppers with the goal of providing their customers with quality, fresh, flavoursome peppers. 

“There are big farms in New Zealand that can dominate the market, so we needed to find a way to be different,” Gaven said. “We first trialled Sweet Palermo over 10 years ago and realised straight away that it was something special – it has a unique shape and fantastic taste.”  

In 2015, Rijk Zwaan launched the Sweet Palermo brand that highlights the special flavour and versatility of the pointed capsicums, and features a ready-made marketing concept that growers can tailor to their needs.

The campaign coincided with Freshwest dramatically increasing their Palermo RZ plantings to provide more volume and year-round production for the New Zealand domestic market. FreshWest also refreshed their brand, ‘King Sweeties’, and took the opportunity to incorporate elements of the Sweet Palermo branding into their design.

"From the beginning we have worked very closely with Rijk Zwaan with regards to growing information to maximise yields," Gaven said. “When Rijk Zwaan introduced the Sweet Palermo promotion this added a lot to our ongoing promotional work. We were able to link our social media with the Sweet Palermo website where our customers can get a range of information from recipes to nutritional information.

Over the past 10 years FreshWest has continued to expand their Sweet Palermo production and is now growing on 8,000m2. In 2017, FreshWest’s King Sweeties was a finalist in the New Zealand Food Awards for ‘Primary Sector Product’ and ‘Artisan Producer’.

Photos: MG Marketing.