The Seductive Heart of Africa

Africa is a magical place, from its diverse cultures to the warmth of its people. It is no wonder that there is an ever-growing enthusiasm for Africa’s ingredients and cuisines amongst consumers from around the world. But amongst the many wonderfully crafted and beautifully packaged products, there is one brand that captures the warmth, flavour and magical essence of Africa: the unique and proudly South African range of PEPPADEW® products.

The irresistible red piquanté peppers, are loved for their gorgeous and very distinctive spicy and sweet flavour. They were first discovered by Johan Steenkamp in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in the 90’s. He started cultivating and processing them in the Tzaneen region of South Africa, successfully marketing them under the PEPPADEW® brand. Steenkamp then sold his interest in 2004 and the story has continued ever since with exciting international growth.

The name Tzaneen is derived from the Venda name Dzudzanani which means “living together in harmony”.
This beautiful, subtropical, small town paradise, in the foothills of the majestic Wolkberg (Cloud Mountain) mountain range in Limpopo province, has always been the home of PEPPADEW® International and the heartland of the PEPPADEW® brand. It is here among rugged outcrops, pristine beauty and bountiful farmlands that the brand is cultivated and nourished.


From Central America to Africa

The PEPPADEW® Piquanté pepper, suspected to be the first new fruit that was discovered and commercialised since the kiwi fruit, has a history as fascinating as its taste. (Botanically, chilli peppers are classified as fruits)

The sweet piquanté pepper is today recognised as a South African cultivar that originated from the Capsicum Baccatum – Piquanté variety which is a pepper indigenous to Central America.

So how did this come about? And where did the very first mother plant, discovered right here in South Africa, come from? Did a helpful migratory bird, immune to the burn of capsaicin, spread it? Did a South African world traveller drop a seed in the Eastern Cape? Or is it just a miracle of nature? No one knows.

But what we do know is that whatever its origins, the highly regarded CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) in South Africa conducted worldwide research and verified that it was a separate variety of the Capsicum Baccatum that had been discovered. This specific variety had never been registered anywhere else in the world. As a result, sweet piquanté peppers were registered as an original South African variety, followed by global botanical classification in the botanical plant list as a piquanté pepper. Trademarks were soon established, international plant breeders’ rights were registered and the piquanté pepper catapulted onto the world stage to cause an international taste sensation under the brand name PEPPADEW®

The PEPPADEW® brand name was created to describe the flavour profile of the

piquanté pepper fruit: they’re spicy like a pepper (peppa) but at the same time sweet and tantalizing (like the morning dew).


From cottage industry to internationally recognised brand

PEPPADEW®International (Pty) Ltd was formed in South Africa to develop the startup potential that was evident in the uniqueness of the piquanté pepper. Brand passion, innovative product development, the now signature style of the PEPPADEW® brand, as well as production expertise has evolved the business from a cottage industry to an international brand with around 80% of its production exported from SA.

Regular upgrades at the processing plant has supported business growth and features world-class packing machinery and enlarged deseeding halls that provide workers with enclosed and spacious working conditions.

As a result, discerning palates around the world, from South Africa, to the US and the UK, mainland Europe, the Scandinavian countries and as far away as Australia and Korea, savour the PEPPADEW® range of products.

Our vision is to continue to create opportunities and prosperity for all involved in this uniquely South African success story. Our zealous quality focus combined with innovative consumer marketing campaigns, have established the brand locally and internationally and it is a foundation that bodes well for the brand’s prospects into the future.


Expertise and technical knowledge make them successful business ventures.

Like microbreweries, hand-crafted cheeses, artisanal breads and heirloom vegetables, all PEPPADEW® products start off with our specialist agricultural team who select seeds by hand and then dry and treat them according to stringent protocols for future crops. These seeds are then grown into seedlings in accredited nurseries for six to eight weeks under the watchful eyes of our team. Only the best and strongest seedlings are then handed over to our PEPPADEW® farmers who are guided on the correct way and right times to plant.

Only the best ripe raw piquanté peppers are harvested by hand and transported from the farms to the factory where they are meticulously sorted and deseeded, mainly by hand. Every single piquanté pepper, exported to 27 countries around the world, goes through the hands of a team of 1500 women at the Tzaneen factory.

It takes a special type of farmer to grow our piquanté peppers. That’s why PEPPADEW® International carefully chooses every farmer who grows piquanté peppers. We see them as the guardians who oversee the successful growing and harvesting of this unique South African fruit.


We believe in good management and a rigid compliance to the highest local and internationally recognised quality standards

The PEPPADEW® production facility has the following certifications:

  • FSSC 22 000
  • FDA Registration
  • Orthodox Union
  • Halaal


Quality is the defining character of our brand

The cycle of quality starts by ensuring our farmers produce the best quality fruit possible.  That is why our technologically advanced Agricultural Technical Department guarantees that only the best quality seedlings are supplied to our farmers and our experienced, well-qualified Extension Offices provide extensive hands-on support.

       The PEPPADEW® production facility is FSSC 22000 accredited and all products bottled and marketed under the PEPPADEW® brand adhere to the highest local and international quality standards, contain no artificial colourants and no added preservatives.


We believe that the quality of our products is crucial, particularly at a time when consumers are becoming more insistent on eating natural, nutritious foods and knowing where their food comes from. PEPPADEW® International’s traceability system can track product batches through all stages of the planting, harvesting, production, processing and distribution cycles; guaranteeing the quality of the product that reaches our consumers.

Freshly picked raw piquanté peppers simply do not taste as good as they do from a PEPPADEW® jar. Our patented process and unique and secret PEPPADEW® piquanté pepper recipe was painstakingly developed to retain and enhance the natural sweet and spicy characteristics of the fruit to give it that perfectly balanced flavour and trademark crispy texture that consumers just cannot get enough of!


Most great food brands are built on unique recipes, secret ingredients and inimitable processes, which are often the key driving forces behind the brand’s success.  The PEPPADEW® brand’s piquanté pepper is no different.


Our passion for the brand and our belief in the product has lead us to create experiences and drive technological expertise to expand our PEPPADEW® world and inspire our consumers, our suppliers and everyone who is part of our PEPPADEW® story.


Prosperity for all involved in this uniquely South African success story

The international popularity of Peppadew International’s PEPPADEW® branded products has helped to transform the lives of previously disadvantaged communities who live in the Tzaneen area by providing thousands of jobs to local people through the labour intensive nature of the product.

In addition to the direct and indirect employment created, two-thirds of Peppadew International’s farming contracts are issued to previously disadvantaged farmers.

We do this not only because we know how important it is to support community upliftment projects, we are also fully aware of the fact that the long-term sustainability of PEPPADEW® International is dependent on our ability to partner with emerging farmers. This includes providing them with skills and knowledge, the detailed farming manuals on commercial farming, the best farming practices, skills in soil management, fertilizer application and much more that will ensure the farmers’ success.


From one exceptional plant to one adventurous brand

Internationally there is a growing consumer trend towards experimenting with new, exciting tastes. From fresh, bright, healthful fare to exotic and foreign influences: ethnic, spicy foods seem to be everywhere and the flavour profile of the range of PEPPADEW® products perfectly reflects these international taste trends.  Best of all the PEPPADEW® product range is the ultimate chef in your pantry: super convenient and always at the ready to add originality to meals, colour to presentation and an unforgettable sweet and spicy flavour to every mouthful.

PEPPADEW® is made up of the faultless combination of innovation, passion, a secret recipe and technical expertise that created a taste adventure that is conquering the world.


The runaway success of our much loved Piquanté Pepper has captured the hearts of adventurous taste buds not only in South Africa but around the world and established the PEPPADEW® brand name as a consumer favourite. This has prompted the PEPPADEW® International team to explore range extensions that would sit comfortably with the flagship product.

The vision has become to establish the PEPPADEW® brand name as a local and international premium quality food brand with great flavour and convenient packaging to add an exciting culinary edge to any cooking experience.  In the future, we are confident that adventurous consumers who are passionate about food, will think of the PEPPADEW®product range when they are looking for imaginative, high quality, value added food products that offer more tantalising tastes in a variety of quick and convenient formats.

So far, we have launched PEPPADEW® pickled jalapeños and onions, pasta sauces, atchars, hot sauce, relishes and plan to launch many more innovative products in due course.

The piquanté pepper and the vision of those who discovered and communicated it, has and continues to fulfill a truly South African dream. It has evolved into a worldwide success from something, that until recently, no one knew existed.