While the produce business seeks to expand produce sales, fresh fruit and vegetable consumption has remained relatively flat over the last decade. This is changing, according to Mary Zischke of the California Leafy Greens Research Program. She reports an uptick in leafy green sales in recent years.

Sales of the leafy green vegetable kale have soared through the roof – about a 2,000 percent increase, according to United Fresh.

“Kale (consumption) is on fire,” Robb boasted.

Kale has green or purple leaves, rich in beta carotene, Vitamin K, calcium, and Vitamin C.

Robb shared data from the National Cancer Institute which suggests fruit and vegetables can help prevent cancer due to phytochemicals in the produce.

Nutritious food is not about the caloric content, Robb says. It is about nutrition density in the product.

“Leafy greens are at the very top of the list. Kale is number one,” Robb said.

Robb, an entrepreneur, spent his early career at wholesale produce markets in the early morning hours.

“As a produce person, I started out in 1977 in my own store and used to trim my own produce.”

Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 where he owned and operated the Mill Valley, Calif. store until 1993.

Later as president of the chain’s Northern Pacific region, the region grew from two to 17 stores including four acquisitions. He was promoted several more times, including the co-CEO position in 2010.

Robb overseas purchasing, marketing, distribution, and quality standards for the company.