Sales of kale have increased by almost 40 per cent in the last year thanks to endorsements from celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel.

For the year ending February 2013, volumes of kale, a member of the cabbage family, rose to 3,048 tonnes into the UK market and the vegetable increased its value by 38.4 per cent to £12.6 million.

Due to kale growing well in wintry conditions, volumes of the vegetable were not thought to be badly impacted by last year's poor weather conditions.

The Kantar report claims that the vegetable's popularity has risen due to increased use in high-end restaraunts and recipes of celebrity chefs.

UK firm Tozer Seeds successfully launched its kale and Brussels sprout hybrid Flower Sprouts last year into M&S, and the firm recently confirmed to FPJ that it is looking to 'launch several new kale varieties' into UK retailers this year.