Domestic supplies of kale are ample right now.
“Everybody seems to be growing it,” says Paul Guarino of Ace Natural, an organic food distribution business based in New York City. He notes that Ace Natural’s loose boxes and bushels of manufacturing-grade kale for juicing, etc. come from the Southeastern states including Florida, North and South Carolina. “We also still buy 24-count bunch retail grade for our retail customers from California and we’ve also been getting manufacturing-grade product out of Texas,” he says. “The Texas supplies are new to us. There wasn’t organic kale coming out of Texas as far as I know until recently.”
The ample supplies could be in part related to the popularity that the vegetable has seen in recent years. “It’s not as much of a craze still but it seems when a craze happens, more and more people plant and more of that product is coming on,” says Guarino.
Good demand continues
Demand meanwhile is strong and consistent for kale. Yet, pricing is slightly higher this year compared to last year at this time. “The price is high just because the miles put on the product versus when local is in season. Local just finished after all,” he says.
Last year at this time for example, an 18-20 lb. box of loose kale was priced $6-$10 less than pricing is currently for kale. Pricing is also generally steady for kale.
Looking ahead, Guarino sees consistent supplies coming throughout the winter from California, Florida, the Carolinas and Texas (until March).