Cabbage sales hit all-time high as customer demand increases

Tesco has added the Red Pointed and Japanese Flat varieties to its range of cabbages, which also includes Green, Red, Savoy, Sweetheart, White and January King.

The supermarket giant has added the varieties to its portfolio to meet what it claimed was a growing demand for the vegetable. It revealed that sales of cabbages had reached an all-time high as UK shoppers bought half-a-million more in the past three months than they did a year ago.

Tesco added that this increase in demand for cabbages had come after decades of sales being flat or in decline. Sales began to drop off when fast food outlets began becoming popular in the UK in the 1970s and had continued to suffer until recently.

The supermarket credits much of the vegetable's rising popularity to endorsements from celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson.

Tesco vegetable buyer Jeni Gray said: "Cabbages have been the bain of most school children's lives after they had to endure the mantra that they must eat their greens.

"Unfortunately, as healthy and nutritious as they are, the damage to their popularity is usually done in our early, formative years and it has taken until now for them to shake off the stigma of being the most unloved vegetable.

"Until recently it would have been unthinkable for a supermarket to stock more than a few varieties in store, but to have eight stocked in Tesco shows just how popular this once loathed vegetable is at the moment."

Chris Gedney, managing director of grower TH Clements in Boston, Lincolnshire, said: "Twelve months ago things were looking bleak for the humble cabbage.

"But thanks to a number of celebrity chefs endorsing them and also new colourful varieties such as the Red Pointed being grown, they have reawakened interest with shoppers."

Kent-based brassica grower Geoff Philpott, who grows cabbage varieties such as January King, said: "I think it is the case that sales are increasing and it's probably thanks to the newer varieties that have been brought in - sweeter varieties such as Sweetheart have helped increased sales."

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