What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

US Blueberries for Korean Foodservice

Korea is the largest export market for US Highbush frozen blueberries.   In 2015 around 10 million lbs were shipped to the "land of the morning calm."   With food processing continuing utilizing most blueberries in past decade's "blueberry fever" -- we are now approaching the lucrative foodservice market.  This includes family foodservice, hotels and restaurants and institutions.  Koreans consumer a huge percentage of meals outside and we aim to reach consumers in this growing channel.

(Below): Foodservice Structure

Source: Soejung Heo, A Study on the Foodservice Industry in Korea, 2013.

Reaching the foodservice customers.
We wish we could get blueberries into Kimchee and Bi Bim Bap, and who knows?  But, our first point of entry has been western and family foodservice chains -- such as Skylark, CJ Foodville and Cocos.   Rather than reinvent Korean cuisine, we are adapting recipes and formulas to include blueberries.   We also mix in the health and beauty message.    Below is an example of a recent activity targeting foodservice distributors.  

Korea Culinary Camp 2016
Here is an example of our foodservice work with the annual "Korea Culinary Camp."  This event is hosted by the USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service and the Korean Chef's Association.  Three menu items with frozen blueberries were presented at the September 7 event.    Here are a few photos from the event.   Stay tuned for more information on the Culinary Camp!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

USHBC Bakes Alaska with Blueberries in Taipei Training Activity

USHBC targets the Taiwan foodservice industry with fresh and frozen blueberry promotions.  This September Master Chef John Hui, Executive Pastry Chef at the Lodge at Pebble Beach worked with the Victoria Hotel Chain in Taipei to create signature desserts with blueberries.   The baked Alaska a flambe dessert was prepared with blueberry cake, blueberry sorbet and topped with blueberries.   As Chef John says -- blueberry domination!   The training was  a huge success and the Taipei Television Network covered in a wonderful spot shown on national television throughout the country.  The Result: Victoria is promoting blueberry desserts all month in their hotels throughout Taiwan.   The concept of using fresh and frozen blueberries in desserts is catching on.   Foodservice suppliers are linking up with fresh and frozen suppliers to promote blueberries in this promising new sector!

(Above) Here is the team at the Hotel Victoria!   Chefs from all over Taiwan came to the Taipei hotel for training.

Check out the online video!

Now that is a lot of blueberry!

Poster at Victoria Hotel

Here is how to make a blueberry baked Alaska as seen on Taiwan Television!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Australian Blueberry Products 2016

Here are just a few new products with blueberries launched in the last year.  It is heartening to see products which were discussed with companies at Fine Foods Australia 2015 -- now hitting the marketplace.

The most valuable asset USHBC provides is new product ideas and food tech power!

Let's get some more!

Above: Chocolate and blueberry an Australian "tag team" for health!
Below: This baby food thing is big.   Mom's and dads feel good about feeding blueberries!

Below: Cold Pressed juices are huge in Australia and why not mix with beet juice!   

Below: note the tagline: "only good stuff!"

Below: A drinkable yogurt that will certainly hit the US market (if not yet).  Blueberries are the star!  Note the front package: NO PRESERVATIVES, NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURS OR PRESERVATIVES!

Below: Love the label: "NATURAL BLUEBERRIES."

Australians love their pets -- and here is one for the Aussie Shep in the family!  Note the blueberry identification on the pack.

Below: Now this is a great new concept from Dole Australia.   Love the term: "Whole Blueberries" in the flavoured custard.

Below: Blueberry candies.  Australians love their sweets and this is a great new concept for healthy confectionery which is a huge per capita consumption item.

Below: Another Cold Pressed juice.    We will see more and more of this in the USA.

Below: Australia was an early adapter for development of blueberry-containing bars.   More and more each month!

Below: Blueberry beauty mask!  This trend has moved fast from Korea to Australia.   

Below: Note the made in Australia label.  This is a big deal for Australian consumers.

Below: This product contains all of the trendy ingredients including: chia, coconut and of course blueberry.  The product name "Wholesome" says it all!

Below: Australia is one of the leading per-capita chocolate-consuming countries and the addition of blueberries seems to remove some of the "consumption guilt."

Below: Dried blueberries are gaining popularity fast in Australia.   We love the use of blueberry graphics on the pack.

Australia Advances

Australia is rapidly becoming a major destination for frozen US blueberries.   Last year, USHBC launched activities with participation at the Fine Foods Australia Exposition.  The timing was right -- just weeks before a major food safety scare concerning frozen blueberries.   None were from the USA, and all of a sudden, companies from throughout Australia took a look at North American origin.

Caption: (above) Here is the spirit of Australia shown by our neighbor booth at the Fine Food Australia.  By the end of the show attendees and exhibitors sported our ever-popular mascot fans.  Our new friends from Revel showed the friendly spirit of Australia and directed customers to the Blueberry Booth!

Caption: (above) More than 3 million USD shipments to Australia and most to new products.  A great return on our small promotional investment in Australia!  We expect the 2016 shipments to exceed 2015 as the above figures are for  June only
(below) here is the unfortunate news that rocked the frozen fruit trade in 2015.

Below:  The Ultimate Pastry.  Have you ever wondered where your frozen blueberries are used in Australia -- here is a great example at a retail bakery in St. Kilda, Melbourne!

Below: Local Blueberries in the marketplace.

Below: Trade Visitors.  USHBC booth was a hit!
Below: Looking for dried blueberries

Saturday, September 10, 2016

American Food Fiesta - Hyderabad India

USHBC picked up the maracas and headed south to Hydrabad India for the USDA-FAS sponsored American Food Fiesta.  This event is part of a two city tour to some of the booming mega city markets in South India.   Hyderabad is one of the main cities involved in India's IT Sector.   Companies like Oracle and Microsoft have huge campuses.   This region was the fastest to develop the brick and mortar grocery trade and is headquarters to some of the leading food processors in India.     The event drew hundreds of local manufacturers and importers and the interest was high for dried and frozen blueberries.   Three different importers of US highbush blueberries as well as local filling companies who are now using frozen blueberries from the USA.   Smaller companies were linked up with local suppliers and we also found some new companies who are ready to do business directly with the USA!   A good night outing.  Next stop Pune!

Here are some action shots from the event!

Above: Local distributors discuss blueberries.   We help local importers and distributors to link with food processors in the area.

Let's make a deal!

Below: Local Press Coverage

Note the local fillings made with US blueberries!

Below: ATO Office organizes

Below: 30 minute presentations were given on blueberries.

Below: Packed tent