Pepper-Passion Inc Continues to Expand its Range of Peppercorn Offerings

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Pepper-Passion Inc is an e-commerce retailer of specialty gourmet peppercorns and sea-salts. Pepper-Passion also manufactures an exclusive line of artisan Salt and Pepper Mills handcrafted in elegant designs from exotic hardwoods.

Pepper-Passion is pleased to announce the addition of Sarawak Black Peppercorns to its extensive array of peppercorn offerings. In conjunction with this new addition, the "Black Peppercorn Sampler Pack" and the "Omni Peppercorn Pack" have been amended to include the Sarawak. Pepper-Passion now offers eight different black peppercorns along with three different white peppercorns as well as freeze-dried green peppercorns and Pink (Rose) peppercorns. Each has a unique and distinctive flavor.

Following this recent addition Pepper-Passion has observed that the popularity of its sampler packs have continued to rise to where the "Black Peppercorn Sampler Pack" is now the number two product on its web site with the "Rainbow Peppercorn Sampler Pack" not far behind at number four. The 14 bag "Omni Peppercorn Pack" is rapidly gaining in popularity as consumers become more comfortable with the concept that pepper is not "just pepper".

Pepper-Passion was founded by Bruce and Angela Morgan in 2003 in response to the popularity of the handcrafted pepper mills that Mr. Morgan was producing as a hobby at the time. Following the decision to form a business and create a web site, it seemed only natural to include peppercorns in the product lineup. In initiating the search for high quality and unique peppercorn varieties it was an eye opening experience to learn how limited the selection was at the retail level. According to Mr. Morgan, most product offerings were low quality price-driven blends. Even where varietals such as Tellicherry were available the containers were small, the prices high, and the emphasis appeared to be more about fancy packaging than the actual product.

In the search for interesting peppercorns it was difficult to find distributors who carried the distinct varieties with the subtle differences in flavor resulting from the terroir of their origin. Another obstacle early on was the common perception that "pepper is pepper". However, in thousands of side by side pepper tastings conducted by Pepper-Passion the idea began to take hold that there is a difference. In addition to the well recognized peppercorns long available from India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brasil, new sources such as Vietnam and Ecuador and less well known ones such as Madagascar and Pohnpei have emerged. (One of our finds, the magnificent "Talamanca Del Caribe" organic pepper from Ecuador is only produced in quantities of less than 10,000 pounds per year and was proclaimed the "all time favorite by Gourmet Magazine)

Mr. Morgan compares the pepper market to that of coffee in the 1960's. Back then, the predominant products were one or two pound cans of coffee blends that were considered virtually undrinkable by visitors from outside the USA who were accustomed to the superior Arabica varieties now common in American coffee shops. Back then most of the good coffee was sent somewhere other than the USA, and to some extent that is still true within the spice industry. The American wine industry has matured in a similar way to where we now have more sophisticated consumers who accept as fact that idea that wines, coffees, and (now) peppercorns are not all created equal.

Partly for the reasons stated, above the Black Peppercorn Sampler Pack has become a preferred product for first-time Pepper-Passion customers. The standard BSP includes seven 4 oz. bags of peppercorns (Lampong, Malabar, Madagascar, Sarawak, Talamanca, Tellicherry, and Vietnamese) for $38.00 (with an option to include the rare Pohnpei pepper for an additional $22.00). Buyers are encouraged to open each of the re-sealable bags and to smell them in succession to decide where they would like to begin their new pepper experience.

Mr. Morgan also noted that most repeat customers settle on one or two pepper varieties that they prefer and that repeat buyers tend to purchase larger quantities such as the 10 oz Value Packs or the larger 20 oz Magnum Packs that represent a better value.

Pepper-Passion sells only via its web site at http://www.pepper-passion.com and at selected food, wine and art shows as listed within the web site.

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BRUCE MORGAN
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