The New Jersey Department of Agriculture highlighted New Jersey peppers with a visit to Grasso Foods in Gloucester County on Friday. NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher along with state and local officials toured the packing facility which brings in approximately 40 million pounds of peppers each year, where they are cleaned, cut, packed, frozen, and delivered around the world.
“Grasso Foods is a leading packer of one of New Jersey’s major crops,” said Fisher. “They are a well-established company that farmers rely on throughout the season to bring New Jersey’s finest peppers to be processed.”
New Jersey was No. 2 in the country in the production of peppers in 2020, according to the USDA.
New Jersey growers harvested nearly 105 million pounds of peppers on 3,800 acres for a production value of $60 million. In terms of pounds produced, peppers ranked as the No. 1 crop in New Jersey last year.
“We take tremendous pride in providing New Jersey farmers with a reliable outlet to bring their exceptional peppers year after year,” Grasso Foods CEO John Maul said.
“The peppers that are grown on the fields in this area end up being consumed all over the world in a wide variety of products,” said Maul. "We always know we can count on the farmers here in the Garden State to produce the outstanding crop that makes our brand so valuable.”
The Grasso family has been involved in the farming and agriculture community since the 1940’s when the founder, Joseph S. Grasso, began farming asparagus and processing can house tomatoes along with grading pickles for the market.
In 1978, Grasso Foods Inc. purchased its first freezer and went into operation processing bell peppers.
Forty plus years and two successive freezers later, grandson and current owner John Maul is keeping the tradition alive processing over half a million pounds of bells a day, along with other varieties in their original location in Woolwich Township.