Articles | 5 min read

Analysis of the Current Fresh Bell Pepper Market in the US

Miguel Miranda
April 25, 2023
bell pepper market

It’s no secret that fresh bell peppers are a massive staple of many diets and recipes, so understanding current supply and demand levels can be crucial for both growers and buyers alike.

Bell pepper is widely grown in the US, although its production is mainly concentrated in California and Florida, with Georgia and New Jersey complementing it with slightly lower volumes. However, to meet the constant demand in the fresh bell pepper market, each year, the US imports more bell pepper and, conversely, its exports have decreased. 

For US buyers, the good news is the supply of fresh bell peppers has been on the rise in recent years, with the USDA reporting a steady increase. This has been primarily driven by an increase in imports from other countries such as Mexico and Canada.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the bell pepper production and demand in the US, and the main sources of bell pepper buyers in the US. Read further to find more information.

Fresh bell pepper trade in the US

US bell pepper had a production volume of 1.04 billion pounds in 2022, slightly higher than year-ago production of 972.5 million pounds. This increase in bell pepper production aligned with the increase in acreage in 2022 to 31,700, compared with 31,000 in the previous year. In 2020, the bell pepper acreage was more expansive at 35,000 acres. 

As for the annual per capita consumption of fresh bell pepper in the US, this has been relatively constant over the last decade, although with some ups and downs, going from 10.6 lb (4.8 kg) in 2011 to 11.3 lb (5.1 kg) in 2021, according to the most recent data available from Statista.

Despite local production, the following table will show how the US has been increasingly reliant on external sources. US bell pepper imports went from 2.56 billion pounds to 2.79 billion pounds between 2019 and 2022, a significant increase that has benefited growers from other countries, who have seen more and more opportunities in the US bell pepper market.

Year Imports Exports
Volume (million pounds) Value (million dollars) Volume (million pounds) Value (million dollars)
2019 2,568 1,358 103.5 80.6
2020 2,636 1,487 98.9 83.4
2021 2,940 1,582 103.8 77.6
2022 2,793 1,536 97.8 86

Source: USDA-ERS

Main suppliers of bell peppers to the US

The US tops the world’s bell pepper importers, with demand constantly on the rise and domestic production dwindling. As a result, the country relies heavily on imports, with Mexico serving as its main supplier.

Main suppliers of fresh bell peppers to the United States (2019-2022)

Country Volume (million pounds)
2019 2020 2021 2022
Mexico 1,230.6 1,272.4 1,471.0 1,405.5
Canada 292.9 326.7 322.6 334.4
Netherlands 34.4 17.1 2.6 8.9
Honduras 18.2 21.1 18.5 20.0
Dominican Republic 11.4 10.9 15.3 12.2
Other countries 24.7 18.4 13.3 11.4

Source: USDA ERS


Mexico is the undisputed leader in bell pepper exports globally, so it is logical for it to be the main supplier of bell peppers to the US market. Mexico sent a volume of 1.4 million pounds to the US in 2022, which represented 78.4% of total imports and a value of $1.54 billion.

In the last year, Mexican bell pepper import volumes and value slightly decreased in the U.S. market as more bell peppers come in from other countries. Despite this, Mexico has maintained its position as the main supplier of bell peppers to the US.


Canada is positioned as the second-largest supplier of fresh bell peppers to the US, contributing 334.4 million pounds in 2022, representing 17.9% of total imports that year.

This volume increased from the 2021 volume of 322.6 million pounds and had a higher value, going from $376 million in 2021 to $398 million in 2022.

The Netherlands

Until 2019, the Netherlands was in third position as a fresh bell pepper supplier to the US. However, in 2020 imports from this country dropped drastically, and Honduras finally overtook it. 

In 2022, Honduras shipped 20 million pounds of bell pepper with a value of $14.5 million, a volume higher compared to the 18.5 million pounds shipped in 2021.

Price of imported bell peppers in the US

The average annual bell pepper price in the US slightly increased in 2022 to $64.90 per 100 pounds, compared with 47.90 for the same weight in 2021.

In terms of imports, in the last month of 2022, bell pepper prices ranged from $59.58 to $83.83. Prices moved to the $52.14 to 83.39 range in the first quarter of 2023.

In general, prices tend to fall at the beginning of the year because this is when there is the highest volume in the market, as both production and imports are high, which causes supply to soar, while during the summer, as there is less supply, prices reach their peak.

Prices of fresh bell peppers imported by the United States (usd/lb)

Source: USDA-ERS

The US bell pepper market has experienced a steady decline in production in recent years, a situation that, together with the constant market demand for the product, has led the country to increase its imports year after year, with Mexico being the main supplier of this product.

Moreover, it seems that these imports will continue to increase, something that could imply a great growth opportunity for the countries that supply fresh bell peppers to the US.

Do you want to know more about the bell pepper market? Download and review our analysis of the crop to learn more. Download it here!

ProducePay’s Role in the Agricultural Sector

At ProducePay, we aim to provide a better produce trade for all stakeholders in the industry. ProducePay Marketplace is an online trading platform that allows growers and buyers to find each other to fulfill their selling and buying needs. Other Marketplace solutions include:

  • Market insights, such as updated reports on price, movement, and more.
  • Financing solutions that ensure easy and secure access to cash flow and ensure quick payouts.
  • Sustainability programs to assist with meeting their ESG goals.
  • Supply chain services that link sellers with pre-vetted third-party logistics partners to ensure a trusted delivery process.

During 2022 alone, we reached more than 700 customers in 10 countries and had nearly $4 billion in transactions through our online marketplace. Contact us to learn more about how ProducePay can help you improve your fresh produce business.


Statista. Per capita consumption of bell pepper in the United States

USDA-NASS. Vegetables Annual Summary – Bell Pepper

USDA-ERS. Vegetables and Pulses Data – Data by Commodity – Peppers, bell

Miguel Miranda
April 25, 2023

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