Kroger began rolling out “Cauliflower Pearls” similar to Green Giant’s crumbles in select locations in July, with plans to make them available at its supermarkets nationally. Producer Taylor Farms notes overall cauliflower sales in the U.S. rose 13 percent last year, and that people are using chopped cauliflower as a replacement in recipes for rice, mashed potatoes and pizza crusts.To capitalize, companies are doing the prep work of chopping for what they hope is a growing legion of cauliflower heads. Whether the fad has staying power remains to be seen. In its food trends report based on searches between 2014 and February, Google listed cauliflower rice as a “rising star.” That means it experienced sudden growth but might not last. Parents have long used similar tricks to sneak more vegetables into children’s diets. But now more grown-ups are using swaps, like replacing pasta with shredded zucchini, to cut the carbs in starchy dishes. Although stocking decisions vary from store to store, Whole Foods says it began selling shredded vegetables as veggie “noodles” or “pasta” widely in 2013. The nation’s carb phobia is apparent in sales of dry pasta, which have declined since 2009, according to market researcher Euromonitor. Sales of rice, however, have edged up annually since 2011, suggesting it has been relatively shielded and that “cauliflower rice” may remain niche. Jordan Greenberg, vice president of marketing at Green Giant owner BG Foods Inc., thinks vegetable swaps are more than a fad, and that a “fundamental shift” is underway in how people look at their plates. “I believe vegetables will move from the side of the plate to the center,” he said. It’s a big bet for BG Foods, which purchased Green Giant from General Mills Inc. last year and counts on the brand for more than a third of sales. Since 2011, Green Giant’s frozen vegetables sales in the U.S. have declined 25 percent to $477.6 million, according to Euromonitor.