Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dubai in 1 min 32 seconds

So, for those of you on the other side of the planet.  Here is a view of blueberry progress in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  I remember my first journey when just a very few items could be located.  Take the 1.32 min spin!

Making Things Happen in India!

In 2015 when USHBC made it's first visit to India there were few if any locally made blueberry products.   Almost nobody knew anything about blueberries -- in fact some thought blue colored berries were poison.  Even Indo-Canadians and Americans told us getting blueberries to India was a hopeless cause.

Things have really changed.  How did it happen?  A lot of hard work, train rides, factory visits, seminars and exhibitions in all of the regions of India.   This is an all out campaign to meet, connect and raise:

Trial/Evaluation of US blueberries and blueberry products.

Beam ahead to 2017.

USHBC with the "Blueberry Raj" have met with just about all of the companies in this video.   It involved in -the-field action -- meetings, sampling and followup, followup followup.  These are not meetings by a quick stop trade mission from the USA, but initial contacts and introductions, sampling followup, trials and work to acceptance.

And things have happened.  Each colored bar on the above Mintel Product Chart can be traced to USHBC activities in India.

And activities such as the Real Blueberries
Seal will keep the momentum going!

We are just getting started!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Real Blueberries™ for the Gulf!

Good morning Dubai!  The excitement is building for the start of the Gulfood Exposition which will run from February 11-22.  The big news which will be unveiled at the meeting of the Gulf Purchasers Management Forum (GPMF) will be the regional product launch of "Just Berry" a 1kg foodservice pack for hotels, restaurants and smoothie outlets.

Until now, frozen berries have been a rarity in the region where the outside temperatures are often in double digits.  It is 90F on this beautiful February day in Dubai!

Now this USA product, packed in India by Anusaya Fresh the bill!

Note the identification of the Real Blueberries Seal on the pack.   The seal has become popular with packaged goods users in India, and now the Gulf region.   Daily companies are signing up for use of this beautiful and Gulf Region) culturally acceptable logo.  This product is all American and sure to be a hit in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

Beam back five years:  USHBC worked with Anusaya Fresh in Mumbai on importation and distribution of frozen blueberries through the USDA-FAS Quality Samples Program (QSP).  At that time frozen blueberries were almost non-existent in India.   Now Anusaya and others are successfully marketing frozen blueberries all over the country and now the Gulf.

Prior to the QSP program -- India imported zero kg of frozen blueberries.    As of November 2017, India has imported 171,000 kg (377,000 lbs).  This accounts for more than $250,000 in new business for USA blueberry packers to the most improbable market on earth.

Note: India also imports more than 110,000 kg (242,000 lbs) of dried infused blueberries and much of this has gone to fill consumer packs -- also utilizing the USHBC Real™  Blueberries Seal.  This amounted to another $445,000 in new business.   Some of the consumer packs are carrying the USHBC Real™  Blueberries Seal and the queue is lining up for more!  In the last few years since we introduced dried blueberries to India, there have been imposters and now the USHBC Real™  Blueberries Seal has helped remove or renew some of the confusing analogs!

Raj Kapoor, our Indian FoodTech has made the initial contacts, folllowup and numerous night train factory visits, exhibitions and seminars to engineer these new developments.

Let's all salute the Blueberry Raj of India!

Note:  all statistics noted in this post can be verified at the USDA-Economic Research Service Fruit and Treenuts Statistics web portal.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Over the Pole to Gulfoods - Dubai

On the way to the largest food exposition in the Middle East: Gulfood.  (February 18 to 22, 11 to 7 pm daily!)

Ever wonder how fresh blueberries and or the blueberry guy get to Dubai:

The highlight besides seeing the magnificent northern lights over the Arctic -- was the blueberry pastries.  I am told they had fresh blueberries served in the upper deck which on these Airbus 320 aircraft -- is like a flying 5 star hotel!

Emirates was the first airline to fly non-stop from the West Coast to Middle East.   Now these airlines are important linkages for fresh blueberries to this booming region.

Friday, February 9, 2018

LOHAS - Big Time Market in Hong Kong

You have certainly heard the term: LOHAS.

Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability.

In Hong Kong where 7 million inhabit one of the most densely places on earth -- LOHAS is a dream.  Pursuit of LOHAS food has become part of a lifestyle and a natural place for blueberry consumption and product development.

Welcome to LOHAS EXPO 2018 -- Hong Kong.   Enjoy the Ride!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hana visits Hanoi for USDA-APHIS Grand Opening

February 5, 2018 was a great day in the Vietnamese capital city of Ha Noi.  USHBC-APHIS.  The government agency that protects American agriculture at home and opens markets abroad -- opened a new office in Vietnam.  This is a big step for our country and recognizes the importance of Vietnam as a trade partner.  USHBC/NABC  are currently working through APHIS to obtain market access for fresh blueberries.   Our Hana from HCM City in the south traveled to the opening ceremonies and also participated in meetings with APHIS and other US and Vietnamese government officials.   All were delighted to see that USHBC is on ground in Vietnam to promote sales of blueberries.   Currently processed blueberries such as frozen, dried, purees and concentrates are used in the regional food industry.   Fresh also makes it to market, but we see a boom when the market is eventually opened.

Here are some more photos:

APHIS officials from USA and Vietnam as well as US Embassy officials participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new office in Ha Noi.

Here is Hana on the far left along with a group of Vietnam businesspersons at a reception.

Hana made sure that all of the officials knew that USA blueberries are on the move and on the ground in Vietnam!  She reminded all of the importance of market access for fresh blueberries to our growers back home.  They listened!