Chopped salads come on strong

10/31/2013 02:44:00 PM
Mike Hornick

“We are adding the protein for them to address their eating occasions on the go,” Mark Campion, Taylor Farms Retail president, said in a news release.

Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods Inc. dominates single-serve salads with more than an 85% share of sales, according to Nielsen Perishables Group total U.S. food data. The shipper’s Bistro Bowl sales are up 20% for the year. The line has expanded with a new product, baby kale-turkey Bistro Bowl.

Is kale the new bacon?

The rollout of new kale mixes isn’t limited to the Taylor Farms and Ready Pac single-serve products or the new Taylor Farms chopped kit.

Ready Pac has also added a Baby Kale Blend with baby spinach, baby arugula and chard.

“Super greens like spinach remain popular as well, particularly within organic varieties,” said Tristan Simpson, Ready Pac senior director of marketing and corporate communications.

Kale is in four of the five new Dole chopped kits and blends. Fresh Express has started offering Baby Kale Mix in a 5-ounce bag with chard and spinach.

San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based Earthbound Farm reports continued success for its organic kale blends.

“The kale trend definitely continues,” said Samantha Cabaluna, vice president for communications and marketing at Earthbound Farm. “We say, ‘kale is the new bacon.’ Because it’s a nutrient-dense superstar. Now food celebrities have shown people how to prepare it so that it’s delicious, as opposed to just steamed or boiled or however people were eating it in the past.”

Of the 10 highest sales kale stock-keeping units, mixes contributed 51% more to the rise in sales than cooking greens last year, according to Fresh Express.

As the health benefits of greens gained wider publicity, the whole category rose in 2012, up 31.3% in sales compared to 6.5% the prior year. Kale led the charge — up 151.5% compared to 55.5%.


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