Bueno Foods celebrates 60th with new product
From The New Mexico Business Weekly
Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Bueno Foods has introduced a 60th anniversary green chile product grown in Hatch. The Hatch Autumn Roast Green Chile is available in grocery stores throughout New Mexico at a retail price of about $2.99.
“We combined two of the best: green chile that is grown in the fertile Hatch River Valley with our most premium roast,” said Gene Baca, senior vice president for Bueno Foods and president of the New Mexico Chile Association , in a news release.
Bueno said the new chile is flame roasted in the “tradition of the home roast process,” and the blackened chiles have an “intensely robust authentic flavor.”
Founded in 1951, Bueno said it was the first commercial producer of flame roasted, frozen green chile. Although its retail distribution is concentrated in the Southwest, the company said it distributes more than 150 Mexican food products to restaurant and retail clients throughout the U.S.
The New Mexico chile industry needs all the help it can get, as a surge in foreign competition since the 1990s has had an affect on production. About 82 percent of chile consumed in the U.S. is now foreign-grown, according to the New Mexico Chile Association.
Chile fell from a peak of 34,500 acres in 1992 to 8,700 in 2010. Last year alone, acreage plummeted 41 percent.
A 26 percent decline in chile prices last year discouraged growers from planting, noted Terry Crawford, head of New Mexico State University ’s Agricultural Economics Department.