What's happening in the blueberry FoodTech World

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New India Blueberry Beverages

Here is a slew of nationwide blueberry beverages introduced in India.    Note the emphasis towards child consumption of healthy ingredients on the ads.

The product uses about 2% blueberry juice concentrate.   It will not qualify for the blueberry real seal but anyway -- with more than 3 billion population in India -- it is a good start!

Indians love the term "very berry" and this beverage contains a mix of different berries and a big blueberry photo on side panel.   Made with a blend of concentrated juices.

Here is a juice made from frozen berries.  Mala's has been a pioneer in locally-produced blueberry fillings and toppings.

No -- that is not a masked blueberry on the chia bomb.  Note the on pack text states that the product has twice the antioxidants of blueberries. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

USHBC in the field in 2017

USHBC at New-York/New Jersey Food Technology event.
The USHBC Food Tech Team is in the field meeting with manufacturers to promote blueberries.
Our target audience is Research and development and food developers.  Our message is that with supply and strong consumer demand -- this is a great opportunity to add value to a product with blueberries.
We also meet with those very important food sellers who are always in the field interacting with food companies.  They are always happy to see the USHBC helping their efforts to sell.
>Innovation - Companies love to see new products from abroad.  We often tote examples of trendsetting products from far off lands.  These include beverages and gels from Asia, unique candies from Turkey and others.  The "Greek Yogurt" craze has become a showplace for blueberries and now we are seeing Bulgarian, Icelandic yogurts as well!  

>More fruit.  We meet with companies who traditionally use blueberries and are raising levels of blueberries to heighten consumer appeal.

>Ingredient Solutions - Food manufacturers are looking for products that are ready to use.  They want extricable, low-moisture, specific dimensions and other requirements.  We educate the industry on the vast array of offerings available. 
>Frozen>Dried>Liquid>Low Moisture
Each activity in the field we discover some new and exciting new blueberry ingredient designed to fit the needs of the food industry.  They use real blueberries! 
>Health Halo - Food processors are looking to capture positive messages for their current and new products.   They appreciate the latest health and food science research on blueberries.  Check out our continually updated research database.

>Trending - Food industry product developers look for trending-ingredients that tie to popular trends and these include:
>>ancient grains: ingredients like quinoa, flaxseed, teff are paired with an "ancient fruit" -- blueberries!

>>beauty-from-within (ingredients associated with skincare, hair and nails)  This trend started in Asia and has spread to North America.  Some say it uses small amounts, and yes sometimes.  But, products are also using extracts, powders and other high-value blueberry ingredients that require substantial amounts of blueberry to prepare.

>>clean labels: Some of the leading food processors in the world have pledged to eliminate artificial flavors and colors.   You will see more and more blueberry ingredients which provide color and natural flavor.

Each time we are in the field we work to strengthen the food industry connection to blueberries and blueberry products.   

Check out the current USHBC trade shows at: http://blueberrytech.org/admin/calendar.htm

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Korean Retail Bakeries Innovate with Blueberries

Retail bakeries continue to flourish in South Korea.  They offer on-the-go one handed meals for the busy office worker.  The other hand is reserved for a smart phone!
Check out these innovative new retail bakery offerings! Most are using frozen blueberries and sometimes purees and powdered blueberries.

Blueberry Roll Roll

ü  Type: Dessert

ü  Price: KRW2,800/ 1 piece  (about $2.44 USD)

ü  Company (or Brand): Samlip (SPC Group)

ü  Blueberry: Jam & Concentrate
Note: Samlip which is the subsidiary of SPC Group as well as the Korea's largest packaged bakery company, newly introduces chilled dessert line, called "Cafe Snow" recently. The product line include "Blueberry Roll Roll Cake", "Cheese Tart" and "Strawberry Yogurt Cake" as shown above photo. According to Samlip, this new product line is premium desserts with reasonable prices which consumers could buy at convenience stores which have better accessibilities than bakeries.

Blueberry Whipped Cream Omelet Cake
ü  Type: Dessert
ü  Price: KRW10,500/ 18piece (1box)  (about $9.16 USD)
ü  Company (or Brand): Yoger Presso
ü  Blueberry: Concentrate
Note: Yoger Presso, the franchised cafe chain, introduce new desserts called "Whipped Cream Omelet" and the blueberry flavor is included at this new product line. Consumers could purchase 1 piece as snacks or desserts or 1box as the gift.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Korean Foodservice Chains Discover Blueberries

When visiting South Korea, you will see a coffee shop on every block.  They are everywhere. USHBC works with Korea Business Services Inc. in Seoul to work on the franchise foodservice market.   From the looks of the following report -- blueberries are on the rise in this lucrative market segment.

Korea's Franchised Coffee Market & Blueberries
According to the Korea's Dessert/ Food Service Market Report by Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT), the market size for cafe business reached to $2.5 billion in 2014 which grew from $436 million in 2007. The report noted that franchised cafe businesses notably grew from 1999 when the Starbucks firstly opened its stores in the Korean market. As the market has grown, cafe businesses have tried to diversify their menus not only selling coffee menus but also providing fruit juices, iced flakes, ice creams and desserts. Below Figure 1 shows Korea's Cafe Business Growth for last several years.

Among others, there are 10 major café brands which lead the market as show at Table 1. Ediya Coffee, the pioneer of the café business in Korea and opened in 1994, has the strategy to set lower prices of menus than other franchised coffee stores. Also, it is noted that 2 US brands, Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf have been greatly successful in the Korean market. Otherwise, it is also notable that large scale food companies are operating franchised coffee stores such as Angel in-us Coffee by Lotte, A Twosome Place by CJ, Pascucci by SPC Group (Paris Croissant) and Paul Basset by Maeil Dairy.

Blueberry Use:  Check out the number of new blueberry foodservice developments this year! 

This year we have a dynamic slate of foodservice activities to engage and encourage foodservice outlets to innovate with USA blueberries.

>Culinary Boot Camp -  Blueberries are on the innovation menu for this yearly event sponsored by the USDA-Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) Seoul.   Management and product developers from major chains like the ones above as well as trend setting independent operators will attend.   Our Seoul-based blueberry representatives will present new idea and concepts and talk promotions.   This is the start of ideas which will result in new menu items down the line.

>Seoul Foods 2017 -  USHBC will participate in the upcoming Seoul Foods exhibition to be held May 16-19, 2017 in Ilsan (a suburb of Seoul).   This is the largest and most important food exposition of the year in Korea and USA blueberries will exhibited.   This year we will show a whole array of blueberry sauces which integrate the goodness of blueberries with the savory tastes craved by Korean consumers.

>Continual Action  -- Each month, we meet with foodservice companies and operators and talk blueberry.   Discussions today mean new products and menu items tomorrow.

Check out the new menu items this year!