“I think people are eating healthier or wanting to eat healthier … whether that means consuming kale, cauliflower, Broccolini or romaine heart salads in their daily diets,” Bigras said. “I think the media will play a role in crowning the next trendy vegetable, be it cauliflower, butternut squash or snap peas. One thing’s for sure — there’s no shortage of supply with kale. Everyone seems to be offering a different variety.”
Brian Peixoto, sales manager Lakeside Organic Gardens, Watsonville, credited the juicing fad for much of the spike in kale demand.
“We can sell as much kale as we can possibly harvest,” he said.
Before, a family might have bought a bunch or two — if they were really into it — weekly to add to salads, Peixoto said. Now people into juicing use one bunch per glass, and those serious about the practice may juice two to three times per day.
Brian Crummy, a seed salesman for Bejo Seeds in Salinas, Calif., said he’s seen demand for kale seeds increase threefold between the West and East coasts during the past few years. However, he said it’s hard to determine how much is due to actual increases in retail and foodservice sales and how much is due to grower-shippers hoarding for fear of a seed crop failure.