The message: Get into the field and make things happen!
Jump ahead to 2017. A lot has changed. Blueberries have survived dozens of fad cycles. Typically a new product sensation has a year or two before the public moves on to another. Blueberries have experienced a few huge spikes in usage and normally a plateau and then growth. Blueberries in Japan are now in a mature market. In the next few blog posts we will look at the Japanese market.
Back to Foodex! This has become a regional trade show for Asia. During our four days at the show we met with hundreds of attendees from all over Asia. The USDA brought in 95 companies from Taiwan. Korean companies were everywhere. Middle-Eastern and African companies showed interest.
The action was in the Japan Pavilion where some of the most sophisticated food processing companies in the world showed their new products. Like the USA, blueberries have entered an "ingredient solution" phase of marketing. Where fresh and frozen were the choice in 1990 -- now we are seeing companies utilizing dried blueberries, freeze dry, microwave dried, powders, juice and purees and puree concentrates. Companies are looking for ways to immediately add blueberries to a product.
Here are just a few shots from the Foodex 2017!
No Foodex is complete without our annual Indian dinner. Here we bring together blueberry friends, buyers, sellers and associates.