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DataBite: Meet kelp, the new superfood



There’s a little known but growing industry here in the US: Kelp farming. Turns out kelp, a large seaweed that grows in underwater forests in shallow oceans, has a lot of benefits -- for both people and the environment. It requires no fertilizer, pesticides, fresh water or arable land. It offers lots of iodine, potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. And its quick growth means quick carbon dioxide uptake, which can reduce ocean acidification.

Dubbed the newest superfood, some think kelp will soon overtake kale as the it powerhouse food.

Rather than speculate, we let the data do the talking. A quick search in the Label Insight product data engine revealed 148 food and drink items that contain kelp, and 567 that contain kale.

At first glance, it looks like kale is still leading the pack. But, we know that kelp is often called algae or seaweed, so we broaded our search to include these terms. This netted us 908 unique food and beverage items. Perhaps kelp (and its algae and seaweed counterparts) isn’t so far behind after all.

So where are you most likely to find kelp today? In sauces like miso and soy, non-dairy yogurts like almond and coconut, soups and seasonings. If kelp keeps gaining traction as predicted, then it’s likely we’ll see it cropping up in more categories. Perhaps even moving into the juice and chips and snacks aisles like the mighty kale.  

We’re superfood agnostic, so whether you’re into kelp, kale or chia seeds, we’re happy to help power your product data endeavors. Contact us today to learn more.