What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blueberry Chutney, Why not!

We have always heard that some of our  growers love to make blueberry chutney!  Here is an example of the concept with a Latin American twist!  Made in Argentina!

New Product Trend - Meal Replacement

Now from the USA -- here is a new concept that is sure to grow in popularity.  Take all sorts of "good for you" ingredients including blueberries.  Blend into a jam and you have a meal replacement!

Here is how the company describes!

Plnt by V Chocolate Plant Protein Meal Replacement is now available. It provides energy, satisfies hunger and is free from GMOs, gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, yeast, wheat, fish, animal derivatives, artificial additives, synthetic preservatives, colors, flavors and sweeteners. The vegan product is said to be made with some of the finest natural ingredients and whole foods, contains 17g of protein, and retails in a 1.2-lb. pack.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

USHBC Visits School Foodservice Conference

The School Nutrition Association (SNA)  is the organization of professionals who feed students across the nation.  This includes food service directors from school districts, workers and suppliers.    This year the SNA annual meeting was held in San Antonio, Texas July 17-19 and USHBC attended with to meet with the suppliers and school food processors.   The concept: frozen blueberries are received by approved processing companies in different states who are allowed to combine blueberries with other fruits and deliver to districts as finished products.   Districts like to receive the finished products.  At this conference we met with dozens of companies producing muffins, pies and even real fruit pops.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Freeze Dry and Powders at IFT Exhibiton

USHBC exhibited at the recent National Meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in Chicago July 17-19, 2016.   What's new?  Blueberry powders were presented by several companies.  Interesting to see the "fresh to powder" messaging.   These powders are used in all sorts of low moisture foods.  Another message which was prominent: "Made in the USA."  This term counters some of the food industry desire to find foods produced in North America for food safety and traceability reasons.

Monday, July 11, 2016

New York Blueberry Bagels in the UK!

Here is an example of American concepts going global.   The New York Bagel is produced and distributed throughout the United Kingdom.  It uses dried blueberries which work just great in the firm bagel dough.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blueberry Baby Foods

The baby food sector worldwide is using more and more blueberries!   Here is a great example of how real blueberries are used to enhance by Gerber/Nestle in Poland!
No doubt there are blueberries inside this one!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Japan New Products Continue at Record Pace!

Thank you Japan!  Check out the Mintel Global New Products (GNPD) chart showing new product development in Japan with blueberries!

This steady rise beats all of the odds considering the tremendous challenges that the Japanese economy has faced since the terrible natural disasters and aftermath in March 2011.  Almost all fruit and vegetable shipments to Japan have fallen -- except for frozen highbush blueberries!

Here are some interesting products from the first few months of 2016.

Here is a delicious ice cream bar sold throughout Japan at the 7-11 convenience stores.  (all 57,500 stores and growing).  This bar integrates dried highbush blueberries and blueberry crumbles on the outside!

Kagome launched a shelf stable blueberry smoothie.   It is 100 percent juice and contains all sorts of different fruits -- but blueberries dominate!

This product is filed in the only-in Japan bin!  A gummy candy with real blueberry and chia!    This is an example of how functional foods have gone mainstream.  Blueberry guy loves the UFO mascot on the lower right of the package!

Jam Stand Blue Dynamo Award Winner!

Here are two very proud Blueberry Innovators!   
Meet: Ms. Jessica Quon and Ms. Sabrina Valle, Co-Founders of the The Jam Stand in Brooklyn, NY

We met up with the duo at the recent East Coast Fancy Foods Fair and  presented the Little Blue Dynamo Award for the spreads category!

"On behalf of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, representing 3,500 growers in 33 states, we are pleased to present the Little Blue Dynamos Product Award to The Jam Stand.  My Boy Blueberry Bourbon Jam is a winner.  This innovative flavor combination is filled with natural blueberry goodness.  In fact blueberries are the first ingredient on the label!  Kudos on the use of tasty blueberries, the attractively designed packaging and product suggestions which make My Boy Blueberry Bourbon Jam enticing--or, in your words, jamazing!

Congratulations and thank you for using blueberries."

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

First NABC Fresh Blueberry Campaign in Japan

Now I am getting sentimental!  Here is the first trade advertisement that NABC placed in a Japan produce magazine in 1996.  Interesting that the ad focused on antioxidants and health!

Blueberry Baby Food Category Rises

Everyone wants the best for baby!   Check out the rapidly rising blueberry baby food category.   Already in 2016 -- we are seeing rapid use of blueberry puree in ready to eat meals.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Gluten Free Products Go Global -- often include blueberries!

We have been watching the "gluten free" trend the last few years.   Where it used to be a small category occupied by horrible textured and tasting foods -- it is now mainstream.    Now, we are seeing this more and more in Europe and it is starting in Asia as well.  We are continually getting calls from bakers looking to enhance gluten-free baked goods.   Blueberries add flavor, moisture and a wonderful texture!   You do not have to be gluten intolerant to enjoy!
We like the red-white and blue packaging!

Functional Confectionery

Check out this new chocolate item from Japanese and Korean confectionery giant Lotte!    Blueberries are combined with lutein which is associated (by the manufacturer) with eyesight improvement.

What impact can one major new product introduction make?

The jump in the "blue bar" which is dried highbush coincided with the months in advance of Lotte's new product introduction.    This company is a regular stop in USHBC Japan Food Tech activities.    The record amount of 2.9 million lbs. is  a 159% gain over 2012.   The shipments of dried highbush blueberries in the first four months of 2016 are (1.7 million lbs) or 192% higher than the same time in 2015!    

What does this mean for blueberry growers and frozen packers.   The 2.9 million lbs of dried highbush blueberries sent to Japan required more than 10.5 million lbs of frozen blueberries to produce.  (it takes 3.5 lbs of frozen or fresh blueberries to make one lb of dried-infused blueberries).

We should note that lowbush dried blueberries have been strong in Japan for some time.    Note that the lowbush continue to sell well in the snack category.  Much of the rise in highbush dried is destined to the high value confectionery industry where the larger berries are ideal for confectionery panning.

Stay tuned, there is a lot of room for growth for highbush blueberries in the Japan ingredient market!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Blueberries in Native American/First Nation's Food Traditions

Blueberries are truly a Native American treasure.   Check out the latest online newsletter: Berry Latest for an interesting story on blueberries in the Native American/First Nations diet.


Blueberries are gaining popularity around the globe as an ingredient.   The terminology used on packs has been a challenge!   Different countries and different names!   Here is an example of how the word "blueberry: is beginning to take off in France -- a land where the term 'myrtille" has commonly been used.  The problem -- this is the proper name for the local wild bilberry.   This wonderful blueberry product is a nice development and we expect to see more!