Why You Should Skip Getting Bagged Kale At The Grocery Store

The market for bagged salads has flourished in the past year, according to a report by Grand View Research. Valued at $10.78 billion in 2020, sales of packaged and prepared greens are expected to grow 8.2% by 2028. Experts attribute this market growth to an increased demand for lighter, healthier foods and for products that save time in the kitchen.

The prepackaged salad market was also significantly affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic, per the Packer. At the onset of the global pandemic, sales boomed as customers stocked their refrigerators and prepared for the worst. As time went on, consumers became less busy outside the home. As a result, they had more time for cooking and fewer options for dining out. This phenomenon, coupled with a growing interest in healthy, plant-based options has created a produce staple out of bagged and prepackaged greens. After all, they're convenient and low-effort; you don't even need to wash bagged salads.

There's definitely a time and place to eat greens out of a bag — if you're in a pinch for time, for example — but, per She Knows, there's one green that you should never purchase in a plastic bag.

Fresh kale has benefits by the bundle

Creating a truly delicious salad can be as laborious as you choose. But if you decide to save on time and reach for a bag of greens, be sure to avoid the bagged kale variety (via She Knows). Pre-chopped, bagged kale is often mostly stems. In fact, stems compose about 50% of most packages. That's because the leaves are cut horizontally. If you want to remove the stems, which is necessary for many recipes, you have a long process of tearing and chopping ahead of you. The pieces of kale that come in a package also often are different sizes. This makes cooking the leaves evenly slightly more difficult.

When you buy a standard bunch of this popular green, kale stems are easy to remove, and you can hold onto them to include in a soup, saute, or smoothie on another day, as the folks at Edible Manhattan recommend. With a fresh bundle, you also have the option of slicing the kale in the size and shape of your choice. Finally — and perhaps most importantly — as the Frugal HausFrau reported, bagged kale costs 4-10 times more than it does when you buy it by the pound.