According to branded salad company Florette, it is now selling more salads at Christmas than over the August Bank Holiday, which was the traditional peak for salad sales.
Salad is popular for entertaining at Christmas, not least due to it being colourful on the table, but is also flourishing in the winter due to health concerns. And Florette says it is now seen as a key element of a detox diet in the weeks after the festive period.
“January and February were always traditionally very bleak for the salad industry,” said Florette MD Mark Newton “but now January is incredibly important for us as people get into detox diets.”
Florette’s Christmas Crispy Salad is a mix of radicchio, frisee and lambs lettuce.
Winter salad crops are currently sourced from the south of France and Spain.
Newton said high demand could lead to the development of new UK varieties. “Trials are going on and 2006 should see a number of new varieties that have historically not been grown in the UK before,” said Newton.
Other salad suppliers confirmed that demand had moved to become year-round in recent years, with a shift away from loose and towards bagged and premium, with notable growth in sales of radicchio, oak leaf and little gem.
A spokesman for Asda said its sales of traditional lettuce to accompany dishes such as prawn cocktail during the holiday period also lifted.