Kale sales soar as celebrities such as Gwyneth promote its health benefits
Kale sales have risen by 40 per cent in the last yearThis is thought to be because of celebrity chefs and cookbook authors promoting the vegetable's benefitsCould also be because of shortages of other vegetables caused by last year's bad weather
13:49 GMT, 25 March 2013
14:26 GMT, 25 March 2013
Gwyneth Paltrow is known to be a kale fan
Sales of kale have soared thanks to celebrity chefs and famous cookbook authors, a new report has shown.
The low calorie, high fibre vegetable has seen a huge increase in popularity as a result of good publicity by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, who has highlighted the health benefits of the leafy green vegetable in recipes.
Kale, a member of the cabbage family, has enjoyed a 40 per cent increase in sales driven by good availability, quality and attractive prices, according to the latest research.
Celebrity chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver have boosted the popularity of the vegetable by featuring it in a wide variety of recipes.
As a result, sales of kale have leapt to 3,048 tonnes and increased in value by 38.4 per cent to 12.6 million in the year to February, data from analysts Kantar Worldpanel shows.
One grower told the trade magazine The Grocer that last year's bad weather caused shortages and quality issues for many vegetables, but that kale is winter-hardy and has experienced fewer problems.
‘It has been readily available on shelves and that, along with good, consistent quality, has been a key factor in driving growth,‘ he said.
The grower also told the magazine that attractive 'round-pound' retail prices on kale – such as 1 for a 200g bag in Sainsbury's – had also encouraged more shoppers to try out the vegetable.
The report shows that kale has also been gaining in profile thanks to increased use in restaurants and by celebrity chefs.
Kale, a member of the cabbage family, has enjoyed a 40 per cent increase in sales
Andy Weir, head of marketing at catering supplier Reynolds, told The Grocer: ‘We have noticed more restaurants putting both green and red kale on menus.
‘Certainly our food development team showcase kale and other bitter greens regularly to customers and the menu trend seems to continue growing,’ he said.
If this year's weather is more favourable, however, it is thought that kale will lose some of its advantage over other vegetables but growers and suppliers are confident of a 'big opportunity ' regardless.
WHY IS KALE SO GOOD FOR YOU
It is low-calorie, high in fibre and contains no fat.
It is higher in iron than beef – and iron helps with the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes and is essential for liver function and cell growth.
It is high in Vitamin K, which can protect against some cancers and which is necessary for bone health and prevention of clotting.
It is filled with antioxidants which protect against cancer.
It has anti-inflammatory properties so can help fight conditions such as arthritis.
It is good for your heart and can help lower cholesterol.
It is high in Vitamin A, which is good for vision and skin as well as helping to prevent lung and mouth cancers.
It is high in Vitamin C, which is important for the immune system.
It contains high levels of calcium which prevents bone loss preventing osteoporosis and which is good for the metabolism.