What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

School Foodservice Processing

Schools across the nation receive frozen blueberries from USDA Foods programs.   This is an important way for the blueberry industry to reach the customers of tomorrow.  What happens once the product reaches the state warehouses?  A good portion of the goods enter what is called the commodity processing channel.
1. Food processors in various states work are registered and accepted by as commodity processors.  That is -- they have the ability to receive truckloads of various commodities such as frozen blueberries, produce finished products.  Most importantly, they have the ability to account for the dispersion into the school systems where they sell.  It is not an easy task -- but it must be worthwhile as some of the leading food processing companies in the nation are involved.
2. School districts purchase very reasonably priced finished goods such as muffins, fruit pies, and the latest -- fruit cups and frozen ice bars!
It is a win win situation.  In most cases the companies involved in the school processing also purchase frozen blueberries from packers for schools as well.
Here are a few new blueberry items featured at the recent School Nutrition Association (SNA) annual meeting in San Antonio:

Bakery items with blueberries.  Here is the crew from JM Smuckers showing off their "Uncrustables!"  Kids love them!

From Malt-O-Meal we have a new blueberry cereal.  Uses real blueberry powder and have a great natural blueberry taste in every bite.

Here is an old friend Craig Messmer who is with a company called "Froozer" which makes frozen fruit pops.   They have a great "Blue Aloha" which is a blend of blueberry and pineapple.

Fruit pops in a squeezable format are popular with kids.  

Mixed berries.

A blueberry smoothie mix from Naked Juice.

 Here is the All-Star school foodservice team from Peterson Farms in Michigan.  They have been serving the schools for decades.

Here is the crew from Wawona in California who have been at the forefront of getting frozen fruit into the school lunch menus.

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