Some things never change, but others do, flourishing as a result. While Prime Time International is a company almost synonymous with peppers, its origin story is rooted in a vast array of categories—from broccoli and cauliflower to asparagus.
Early on, one category, in particular, struck a chord with the company’s growth plans. The popularity surrounding colorful pepper varieties started to catch wind, tipping the company to an opportunity for unmatched development. Looking to its years of growing experience, optimum farm land, and an experienced marketing team, Prime Time moved forward with pepper operations—an expansion that has been immeasurably rewarding and has led the company to become a leader in the category.
Speaking with me on the company’s growth are Managing Members Mike Way and Jeff Taylor and Director of Business Development Brian Miller, who share the story of Prime Time’s journey to becoming a top producer for peppers and so much more.
“Those relationships with our customers, grower partners, and, of course, those within the Prime Time team, are crucial to our success.”
— Jeff Taylor, Managing Member, Prime Time International
“Prime Time is now one of the largest year-round growers, packers, and shippers of colored peppers in the United States,” Jeff tells me. “For nearly three decades, Prime Time has been at the forefront of the North American pepper market. Over that time, the category experienced substantial growth in consumption, as peppers became an everyday necessity in an expanding market distribution model.”
Prime Time bought a ticket and took the booming category for a ride. To ensure Prime Time was able to supply its beautifully hued peppers consistently, the company developed a network of strategic growing regions and partnerships throughout North America.
“Today’s marketplace demands consistent, high-quality, and safe supply 365 days a year. This is a goal that we aim to achieve daily, always adjusting and looking forward,” Jeff shares with me. “We’re regularly reminded of the importance and impact secured supply can have on our business. Retail demand fluctuates with volume and pricing, but foodservice continues to need items like red peppers all the time. We’re focused on making sure we have what our customers want when they need it.”
With Mike, Jeff, and Brian pushing onward, they share with me that the real driving force behind the company’s movement is its relationships. Growing and distributing high-quality products is always at the forefront of their business endeavors, but creating and nurturing the relationships needed to get their produce out for people to enjoy, is a foundation of which they are routinely reminded.
“Those relationships with our customers, grower partners, and, of course, those within the Prime Time team, are crucial to our success. The company’s passion for the business remains strong to this day, as we continue to expand our operations and evolve our product mix in order to meet customer needs,” Mike expresses.
Mike tells me that Prime Time’s sweet mini peppers are a great product that continues to grow and add value to the company’s product mix. Enjoying support from end-consumers, the company’s sweet mini peppers jump off the shelf with both exciting colors and attractive packaging. Because of increased demand, Prime Time offers its sweet mini peppers year-round—a move that has gained momentum as both an everyday, and promotional, item for retailers. The year-round offering has piqued retailers’ and foodservice operators’ interests, as consumers continue to look to Prime Time for its consistently delivered goods.
“There has been a continuous effort to create a 365-day mini pepper operation, and it’s a good feeling when you start to see the benefits of that work,” Brian shares with me.
After seeing such incredible growth with its mini pepper operation, Prime Time recently took up a new path: the asparagus category. Just last year, the company launched its asparagus program, a move that has already become institutionalized as a staple for its offerings.
“It’s been a natural fit for the company and has brought new and exciting energy to the team,” Brian says—adding that while the success energized the business, it is staying the course with tried-and-true quality. “Prime Time is an amazing company, with a trusted brand and reputation. Customers have a certain level of confidence in the Prime Time brand, and now they can add asparagus to the list of trusted products.”
To bring these tremendous efforts to life, the company has made it a mission to cultivate lasting relationships with its customers. This foundation has enabled Prime Time to bring its trusted products to families throughout North America, a connection that hits home for the brand.
“Understanding the changes and challenges that our partners are seeing has been a big part of our program. We do a lot of traveling and, as a result, we are able to interact with our customers in great ways. To go out and visit, and to be with the trade, has been a pillar of our success,” Brian tells me. “The pace of the business has changed because there is more sophistication and technology now, but, at the same time, it’s still people-focused. You have to keep that in mind and keep the basics in perspective.”
Navigating the company’s future growth with retailers and its added categories, the focus it has placed on its customers has permeated into the very fabric of workplace makeup, as Prime Time hones in on people it brings on deck.
“Customers associate a certain level of confidence with the Prime Time brand, and now they can add asparagus to the list of trusted products.”
— Brian Miller, Director of Business Development, Prime Time International
“We are in the process of introducing new energy into our team,” Mike adds. “This means welcoming new talent on board. The added enthusiasm to the team is bringing a different scope to our portfolio, which is great while we look to the future and what lies ahead for us. We look forward to growing and welcoming the best talent out there to push us forward with our customers and, ultimately, their consumers. Prime Time wants to be the reliable source for fresh peppers, asparagus, and all of our offerings, and to do that, we are growing a team that is both innovative and well-versed in what it means to be part of Prime Time.”
The company’s roots have reached far into the industry, elevating its already prominent stance in both the supermarkets and households that seek Prime Time’s produce. From broccoli and cauliflower to a thriving position in the pepper market and now with its evolution in asparagus, Prime Time’s growth is putting the pedal to the metal, enjoying the ride at every turn.