Move over kale, there’s a new green that’s taking the UK by storm – Cavolo Nero.
While the popularity of kale shows no signs of abating, up 53% year-on-year at Waitrose, it’s Cavolo Nero that the supermarket is predicting to be the new green star of 2015, with sales currently up 343%.
Championed by the likes of Deliciously Ella and Hemsley & Hemsley, the veggie has been an ‘underground’ favourite for those in the know for years, but with its increased profile, it is now being discovered more widely.
Traditionally used in hearty minestrone soups or as a side dish, shoppers are enjoying Cavolo Nero as a versatile ingredient for a variety of dishes. On the Waitrose recipe website, page views for Cavolo Nero, pine nut and basil risotto are up 442% year on year, for cannellini bean and Cavolo Nero soup are up 100% and for pot roasted chicken with beans and Cavolo Nero are up 78%.
As a member of the brassica family, Cavolo Nero, also known as Tuscan Kale and Black Cabbage, is closely related to kale which may explain its recent popularity. Originally grown in sunny Italy, Waitrose has stocked their own British version for over 15 years, grown in rural Lincolnshire.
Patrick Keane, Waitrose buyer, says: “Generations of Italians have enjoyed Cavolo Nero as a versatile, nutritious and tasty vegetable and I’m delighted to see our shoppers joining in. Sales of this delicious green have continued to increase throughout this year and this is something we can only see continuing into 2015.”
Kale and Cavolo Nero aren’t the only greens proving popular at Waitrose – spring greens are up 23% compared to the same time last year and spinach is up 19%.