If you think kale is everywhere these days, you’re right. It’s on 400 percent more restaurant menus than it was just four years ago. Millennial kale aficionados have even been known to wear kale T-shirts and sport kale stickers. Brands and those marketing healthy food have to wonder. Is this simply a passing fad, or is kale here to stay? I believe it’s the latter.
The popularity of kale will continue to grow because it has huge awareness with Millennials, and has firmly planted itself into the digital conversation. It’s the hero Millennials need, and deserve.
And there’s a good chance aligning your brand with the leafy greens will help you reach young adults and increase your overall sales.
Kale’s rise in popularity could be equated to an increased awareness of health. As Jennifer Iserloh, co-author of 50 Shades of Kale, puts it, “Kale is the king of the superfood kingdom. People are incredibly interested in health and more and more people are cooking at home—kale is cheap, versatile, and one of the best foods you can put in your body.”
In an interview with BlueApron.com, Kristen Beddard Heimann, founder of The Kale Project equates the soaring rise to a combination of health awareness, an increased popularity in farm-to-table restaurants and the rise of the Internet and high profile food bloggers and celebrities. As she puts it, a lot of it has to do with stars “creating a lifestyle that people aspire to.” Case in point, Gwenyth Paltrow makes kale chips on Ellen. People go crazy.
Then there’s the influence of our personal relationship to food and our ability to share that relationship; thanks social media! “If Instagram had been around when sundried tomatoes (1985) or arugula (1990) were hot, I’m sure there would have been more backlash because the trend would have spread so much like it has with kale. Kale just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” says Beddard Heimann.
Kale has ridden the wave of a perfect marketing storm, and has reached almost cult-like status. Unlike other passing fads, I believe it will continue to stay on top of the Millennial food chain. That’s something to cheer about when marketing healthy food.
The recent sales figures of kale are hard to ignore. Earthbound Farm, which sells salad greens at supermarkets in England, says it’s selling 8 times the kale from 2 years ago. Kale is even for sale at Wal-Mart.
So, to all you marketing healthy food out there, I say go green with kale. The benefits to your brand are ripe for the picking.